It’s no secret I’m a big fan of interleague play. This upcoming CWS series is a perfect example of why. Interesting team that we rarely see. The ChiSox began as a team in 1901. They’re one of the eight charter members of the American League. They’ve won six AL pennants, and three World Series. They endured the Black Sox years (1918-1920 – famous for supposed game fixing – although it was never quite 100% proven). They’ve had countless great players – Frank Thomas, Luke Appling, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Shoeless Joe Jackson, etc. Just a great history in general – full of good and bad.
Fast forward to today, and the White Sox are in full blown rebuild mode. This past offseason, they made two marque trades involving Chris Sale and Adam Eaton. The return for those two trades was impressive. In fact, it bordered on ridiculous. Joan Moncado, Micahel Kopech, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez are all now in the CWS farm system. But more is no doubt coming. Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, and David Robertson are all popular trade targets. I have no doubt that former Rockies target Jose Abreu can also be had (although the White Sox have publicly denied this one for some reason). So, as you watch the White Sox this weekend, rest assured that high level scouts from virtually every contending team are watching them right along with you.
My only interleague complaint – I wish MLB would flip where the DH is used. Use the DH for NL home games, and make the pitcher hit at AL home games. This would allow the home fans to see the opposing system.
As for our beloved boys in Purple – after a 2-2 series split with the average (at best) Reds, we come into the series 50-38. So far this season, the Rox have been a team of extremes, to say the least.
On Tuesday, June 20th, German Marquez beat Zack Greinke. The Rox moved to 47-26. 21 games over 500, the high water mark of the season (to date).
Since June 21st the Rox are 3-12. Our long-suspected weaknesses have been exposed – in spades. Four rookie pitchers, each with 5 wins minimum before the all-star break, had not been achieved in baseball history until this talented young group of Rockies rookie starters came along. But it’s completely unrealistic for this to continue. (Almost) 34-year-old Mark Reynolds, in the Majors since 2007, a career 237 BA/329 OBP (with over 5500 plate appearance – a HUGE sample size) is at 286 BA/372 OBP even after his recent cold spell. Once again – not sustainable. The bullpen got off to a great start – but has since “corrected” (in fact – except for Holland – over corrected).
But all is not bleak. The 50-38 record has been achieved without a single appearance from David Dahl or Chad Bettis. Jon Gray has missed most the season. Ian Desmond has missed significant time. A somewhat resurgent Geraldo Parra has missed significant time. Cargo – while only missing a handful of games, has been dreadful and has certainly been MIA since day #1.
So, like most things – the “real” Rox no doubt lie somewhere between the two extremes we’ve seen to date.
Typically, 88 wins will get a team in the Wild Card game. If the Rox go 38-36 from this point forward, we finish with 88 wins. At this moment – the most likely competition for the 2nd WC spot are the Brewers (48-40 – I like this team). Even though the Brew Crew are actually leading the Central, I still believe the Cubs will get their act together and win that Division (otherwise – they’re the most likely competitor for the 2nd WC spot).
It was my opinion that we had to win 3 of the 4 games against the Reds. So that series was a “fail.” The Rox now need to take 2 of these 3 games against the ChiSox. So, let’s sit back a root for the Boyz in Purple this weekend to win 2 and go into the all-star break with a least a little momentum.
Friday: Holland vs. Marquez
Saturday: Quintana vs. Hoffman
Sunday: Rodon vs. Freeland