Second Biggest Need: A Second Baseman
The Chicago White Sox would love to find a short-term replacement for Nick Madrigal.
When Nick Madrigal was considered to be out for the rest of the season, things seemed bleak for the White Sox. This team was built to withstand a couple of blows but critical injuries in both the outfield and infield have left them a bit thin.
When this happens to World Series contenting teams, usually players in the farm system step up and help out their ballclub. Jake Burger and Gavin Sheets were called up for reinforcement and have done a decent job at easing the pressure but this team needs some middle-infield help desperately.
Since his call-up, Burger is batting .263/.333/.474 with an. .807 OPS in 42 plate appearances. Sheets, in 70 plate appearances, is batting .226/.300/.532 with a .832 OPS. Those are decent stat lines for rookies but the sample size is simply too small to ignore the more significant depth issues.
Danny Mendick is hitting .198/.300/.273 with a .573 OPS and Leury Garcia is hitting .246/.323/.346 with a .669 OPS in 81 games. Platooning Mendick and Garcia at second base can maybe get the Sox by but they might need help from the trade market to win the World Series.
A name that was thrown around a lot this season has been Diamondback’s baseman Eduardo Escobar. Signed by the White Sox when he was 17 years old, Escobar finally made the big leagues at 22 but was sent to Minnesota a year later in 2012. For the past four years, Escobar has been giving the Diamondbacks some solid production at second. As sellers, Arizona will be trading him.
A little off the radar is Escobar’s teammate Josh Rojas who has quietly been having a similar season. In 93 games this season, Rojas has a slash of .268/.356/.438 with an OPS of .795. He has ten fewer home runs but walks nearly twice as much.
Whatever the answer is, one simple fact remains: the White Sox cannot win the World Series platooning Mendick and Garcia at second base.