2. Tony La Russa’s Love For Leury Garcia
Tony La Russa uses Leury Garcia way too much in the Chicago White Sox lineup.
Leury Garcia got a $16.5 million contract this offseason. He earned that after spending his last nine seasons in the White Sox organization. He has provided the White Sox with a veteran presence and came up large in the ALDS last season.
There is a lot to like about Leury Garcia. He can play almost every position and is a switch hitter. But Tony La Russa’s insistence on putting him in the lineup regularly is not a recipe for success on a contending team.
La Russa fails to acknowledge what Garcia is which is a utility player that should be getting spot starts once or twice a week and coming off the bench as a pinch-runner or late-game substitute.
This season, Garica has a -0.5 WAR and an OPS+ of 7. Not only is he inserting him in the lineup too much but he is also setting him up for failure. On April 20th and 21st, La Russa placed Garcia in the number three spot of the batting order.
However, at the time Garcia had the worst OPS of anyone in the Chicago White Sox lineup which is saying something considering how poorly they have been playing. He also happened to have a .077 batting average. It was a baffling decision.
I like Garcia more than most but his playing time needs to decrease when he looks like he is swinging a piece of wet sporting news at the plate.