Tony La Russa was a terrible manager for the Chicago White Sox this season. His lineups, bullpen management, and strategy decisions have almost all been horrid. The team was also lifeless in almost every game that they played.
When he left due to a health concern, Miguel Cairo took over and there was an immediate impact. The team started hitting balls really far and looked like they actually wanted to be there again. However, there wasn’t much evidence that his Xs and Os were much better.
On Tuesday, when the team needed him the most in that department, he failed them en route to a big loss. They had the ability to show life when all hope looked lost which is something that wasn’t the case under La Russa but there is no doubt that Cairo failed his team in other ways here.
Dylan Cease had as good of a game as you could ask from him. He gave up one run on four hits (in six innings) in a game where he didn’t have his best fastball. His off-speed stuff was still good enough to make him the filthy pitcher that he is. Unfortunately, from there it went downhill.
The Chicago White Sox needs to have better management in big-time games.
Cairo made the decision to use Jimmy Lambert in the 7th inning. That was a bad decision in every way. Lambert has been great this season but he is not a high-leverage player right now. The White Sox pays a lot of money to other players and those are the ones to use.
Miguel Cairo also went to Jake Diekman over other guys left in the bullpen in extra innings and he was brutal as he has been since coming over from the Boston Red Sox.
He also only used Liam Hendriks for one inning which was a crazy decision. Liam is an elite all-star level closer that the White Sox pay a lot of money. What are you saving him for? The playoffs? Well, you probably aren’t going to the playoffs because of this.
When the offseason comes around, there are reasons to consider keeping Cairo but they should really think about someone from outside of the organization.
Miguel Cairo has done some good things but he was absolutely brutal in this game against Cleveland. He owned up to it after the game which is something that the other manager would never do which is respectable but he still has to be better than that.