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wiscbearsfan


Joined: 06 May 2006
Posts: 6350
Location: WI
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: The Official Chicago White Sox Thread Reply with quote

If there is an official White Sox thread out there already I'm sorry but I haven't ever seen one in the past year plus that I have been posting in the baseball forum. Although I am first a Cubs fan, I am a baseball fan in general and am a regular listener of WSCR 670 the Score in Chiacgo which is the White Sox radio flagship station so I end up keeping pretty well informed on the club. Unlike many of the Cubs and Sox fans in Chicago I don't hate the other team. That's probably because I was born and raised in southern Wisconsin and never had a reason to hate the Sox for any reason. I just like to talk baseball and I know there are a lot of Sox fans that check things out in this forum every so often so I'm hoping this thread catches on amongst them.



Now with the formalities out of the way, let's talk some White Sox baseball!

I honestly believe that the Sox are going to surprise a lot of people in 2008. The 2007 White Sox had plenty of issues including a terrible bullpen and some injury troubles, but perhaps the most glaring thing was a collective hitting funk of EPIC PROPORTIONS.

Just take one quick glance at this following list that includes batting averages from last year compared to players career averages:

Jermain Dye: career .275 ----- .254 in '07
Paul Konerko: career .281 ---- .259 in '07
AJ Pierzynski: career .284 ---- .263 in '07
Juan Uribe: career .254 ------- .234 in '07
Tad Iguchi: career .276 ------- .251 in '07 (before he was traded)

That's at least 20 points below each of their career averages! That's absolutely insane!

On top of that Joe Crede wasn't hitting at all before he went down for the year and his replacement, rookie Josh Fields hit .244 on the year. Jim Thome missed a fair amount of time in '07 and ended up hitting .275 on the year which is a little below his career average. The crazy thing is that his batting average was the best on the team last year! That's right a .275 batting averag led the team. Another rookie, Jerry Ownes was second with a .267 average! For a team to go into a collective hitting funk like that is just unheard of.

If you pay much attention to baseball statistics you know it's a pretty safe bet that the vast majority of these guys are going to finish up '08 with numbers much much closer to their career numbers and in soem cases it would not at all be surprising to see some guys post numbers ABOVE their career averages this year.

The additions of Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Quentin and Nick Swisher to the Sox lineup should make a big difference in '08. Swisher and Quentin in particular add tremendous upside to this lineup. I don't know for sure what their opening day lineup will look like but it could be soemthing like this:

1. Orlando Cabrera - SS
2. Nick Swisher - CF
3. Jim Thome - DH
4. Paul Konerko - 1B
5. Jermaine Dye - RF
6. AJ Pierzynski - C
7. Carlos Quentin - LF
8. Josh Fields - 3B (I think Crede will be traded in ST)
9. Danny Richar / Juan Uribe / Alexei Ramirez - 2B

All the Sox need is for most of these guys to hit close to what their career trends are and have some of the youngsters take a step forward towards their potential and this will be a dangerous lineup to compete with.



The other 2007 weakness I mentioned was the bullpen. They were downright terrible last year but the additions of Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel to handle 7th and 8th inning duties to get to Bobby Jenks to close things out in the 9th appears to be a really nice step forward.



The most glaring weakness that I see remaining for the upcoming year is their starting pitching. Jon Garland was dealt for Orlando Cabrera meaning the Sox staff currently consists of Mark Buhrle, Javier Vasquez, Jose Contreras, John Danks and Gavin Floyd. That's pretty thin and leaves no room for error.

I called it quite awhile back that the White Sox and Brewers could swing a trade in spring training that would send a healthy Joe Crede (provided he shows in spring training that he is indeed healthy) for either Chris Capuono or Dave Bush since the Brewers at least for the moment have a pitching surplus and have a desire to move Ryan Braun from third to the outfield. Of course that was before the Brewers acquired Mike Cameron but while it's perhaps less likely that deal happens it can't be ruled out.


Now I'm not calling the White Sox a candidate to win the division because both the Tigers and Indians (especially the Tigers) have fantastic teams but if one of them stumbles due to injuries the Sox could be a darkhorse candidate in the hunt for a wild card spot. Their starting pitching would likely be the stumbling block though and therefore a more conservative (and probably realistic) projection has them battling the Twins for third in the division.

Most importantly though to the organization is that this should be a much more competitive and exciting team to watch and will put butts in the seats.
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berrianburns80


Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 2779
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:06 am    Post subject: Re: The Official Chicago White Sox Thread Reply with quote

Quality work as always wiscbearsfan. I totally agree with the idea that they can win the AL Central! I'm trying not be biased, but seriously the only thing holding us back is a starting pitcher. And not even a stud starting pitcher. Just a decent guy who can give us a chance every 5th day.

I'd love it if you were right about the Capuano/Bush trade. Especially considering both have the talent to be studs and Don Cooper has proven he can turn potential into production. If we can't get one of them, maybe a John Thomson or take a risk on a guy like Bartolo Colon. Who knows.

I'm really hoping that we get that Dotel deal done. If that happens, my bullpen concerns are no more. One goog thing we have going for us is this: The only group that under-performed more than the 2007 White Sox lineup, might have been the 2007 White Sox bullpen. I mean Jenks dominated, but explain how MacDougal, Sisco, and Aardsma all go from flame throwing and un-hittable in April, to being sent down to the minors in a matter of weeks?!??!! All 3 of them!! Geez. Hopefully at least one of them bounces back.

Here is one move I like, but don't quite get: Alexei Ramirez

Quote:
A gifted athlete who prefers shortstop, he played second base in Pinar del Rio, and we're going to make the guess that he'll be used mainly in the outfield this year for Chicago, since that's the least demanding position for him to handle while devoting his energy to figuring out AL pitching. He may have special value as a super-utility man, however, so if you're a fantasy league player, pay close attention to how he qualifies under your league rules. He could be a steal at shortstop or an average big-leaguer in the outfield, for example.


Super-utility guy who can play infield but prefers outfield....Hmmmmm? Don't we have a healthy Pablo Ozuna coming back? I liked Ramirez in the WBC and was hoping he'd push for our starting 2b or at least platoon with Richar. But I don't quite get the signing if he's just going to do the same thing Ozuna does. Whatever though, because we signed him for practically nothing. Good deal either way, we can trade one at the deadline maybe.

The thing I'm most excited about though is our lineup!!! How many teams can honestly say they have 4 guys who should hit 30 hrs as long as they are healthy? Konerko, Thome, Dye, and Swisher should each crack 30 as long as they don't hit a major injury. We are deeper now, so I'm guessing Thome has a better chance to stay healthy since guys like Quentin, Ozuna, Owens, or Ramirez can spell him at DH every now and then. And by the way, I'm being tentative by saying we have 4 guys who should hit 30. I'm fully confident that Fields and Quentin each have the chance to hit 30 at the Cell if given the playing time.

I have a couple points I want to discuss though. Things that I'm not sure about with this offseason.

A.) Why did we re-sign Uribe? He plays decent defense in the sense that he makes the plays on balls he can get to ---- which are practically none because he has the worst range in the AL. Can we actaully trade him and get something back? What do you think?

B.) Our defense was weak last year, but I think it will be just as bad if we trade Crede. I'm all for trading Crede if we can get something, but if we trade him our infield would be all below average defensive players except for Gold Glove at short. Not to mention Swisher has limited range in center, Dye has limited range in right, and Pierzynski can't throw anyone out. I'm not quite sure about Quentin's defense. I assume it's average. But what do you think? Can our defense get the job done?
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berrianburns80


Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 2779
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw this the other day in the Sox mailbag

Quote:
What do you think about this: Joe Crede to the San Francisco Giants for Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez?
-- Rob, Wheaton, Ill.

The Crede issue, which has been a favorite mailbag topic throughout the offseason, seems to have White Sox fans split. Many supporters still want Crede back with the team, hoping he can recapture his 2006 form in the field and at the plate, with Josh Fields sticking in left (that particular move categorically won't happen, by the way). Others want Crede moved to the highest bidder.

Here's a statement of fact in my mind: If Ken Williams can acquire Cain for Crede, make the trade today. As I've mentioned countless times previously, Crede was the Most Valuable Player from start to finish during the 2005 playoffs, and he just started to come into his own offensively in 2006. But because of last season's back surgery, Crede's value remains uncertain and Cain or the Angels' Chone Figgins or Scot Shields probably are a little much to expect in return, at this point.

Crede most likely will be moved for prospects to help replenish the farm system, and the Giants figure to be one of the chief targets. It's a move I don't expect to happen, though, until some time during Spring Training.



Haha, keep dreamin Rob. I really hope we don't get long-range prospects for Crede though. That makes no sense. I would like to see us get a Major League starting pitcher but, if we must get prospects, I hope they are far along so they can at least possibly help us at mid season. If not, we should just hold onto Crede and platoon Fields between LF, 3B, and DH. Then, if Crede is doing well and is healthy, we could get a lot more for him at the deadline.
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Thug


Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 3364
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sky is falling THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

This team is average & I'm a Sox fan Confused

I see wholesale trades made mid season.
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A_Fan


Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Posts: 770
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to be up front about it, I'm a Sox fan and a Cubs fan. Yes it is possible. Every year I follow both teams and I want the Cubs to win the NL and the Sox to win the AL. If they meet in the World Series, I want it to go 7 games and really don't know which team winning would make me happier.

I think the Sox could challenge for the Division this year if they add a #2 or a #3+ starting pitcher. Without that, I see them only challenging for the wild card. Of course this assumes the roster goes back to at least their career averages. I mean seriously, I've never seen a season long team wide hitting slump before last year. It was incredible. They also need to stay relatively healthy, but that's generally necessary for most teams to make a championship run.

I really think they need to get the starting pitcher with Crede. I hope he comes into Spring Training healthy and hitting like a monster so his trade value climbs to the necessary level to get that starting pitcher.
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berrianburns80


Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 2779
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thug wrote:
The sky is falling THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

This team is average & I'm a Sox fan Confused

I see wholesale trades made mid season.


Really? At the very least they will hit the crap out of the ball and that will probably keep them around .500 And we all know Kenny Williams, he will probably ADD guys if they are within 10 games come trade deadline.


Quote:
I really think they need to get the starting pitcher with Crede. I hope he comes into Spring Training healthy and hitting like a monster so his trade value climbs to the necessary level to get that starting pitcher.


Yea, I recently read they would possibly trade him to the Giants for Noah Lowry. He's nothing special, but he's somewhat young and could definitely win 12-15 games for us.

What you guys think of Contreras? Will he have a bounce back year or is he completely done?
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A_Fan


Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Posts: 770
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

berrianburns80 wrote:
What you guys think of Contreras? Will he have a bounce back year or is he completely done?


He's not completely done but he won't really bounce back either. This year I think he will be around .500. He's at a point where I think he would be a good veteran 4 or 5 in the rotation. Unfortunately that begs the question, who is there 1, 2, 3?
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BwareDware94


Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 3924
Location: Miami
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see that people are starting threads for their teams, or at least the ones that many people dont post on, i am a Marlins Fan and made one yesterday, and still no posts Sad , o well. Good Luck to the White Sox
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berrianburns80


Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 2779
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A_Fan wrote:
berrianburns80 wrote:
What you guys think of Contreras? Will he have a bounce back year or is he completely done?


He's not completely done but he won't really bounce back either. This year I think he will be around .500. He's at a point where I think he would be a good veteran 4 or 5 in the rotation. Unfortunately that begs the question, who is there 1, 2, 3?


Yea, I guess we're looking at a rotation of:
1. Buerhle
2. Vasquez
3. Contreras
4. John Danks
5. Gavin Floyd

Shocked That back end looks horrible. I'm hoping that by spring training it will look more like this:
1. Buerhle
2. Vasquez
3. Chris Capuano/Noah Lowry (whoever we get for Crede)
4. Contreras
5. Lance Broadway/John Danks
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A_Fan


Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Posts: 770
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

berrianburns80 wrote:
Yea, I guess we're looking at a rotation of:
1. Buerhle
2. Vasquez
3. Contreras
4. John Danks
5. Gavin Floyd

Yeah this is the rotation that scares me. Buerhle is ok as the #1. Vasquez I see as more of a #3 to #3+. Contreras as a #4. Danks will be ok as a #5.

This is what led me in my previous post to hope they can trade Crede to get a #2 or #3+ starter because in my eyes that's all the starting rotation is missing. (Side note: To me, two #3+ pitchers are just as good as a #2 and #3)

berrianburns80 wrote:
I'm hoping that by spring training it will look more like this:
1. Buerhle
2. Vasquez
3. Chris Capuano/Noah Lowry (whoever we get for Crede)
4. Contreras
5. Lance Broadway/John Danks

This would work nicely.
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Thug


Joined: 06 Feb 2007
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Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Santana leaving the division is huge. Sox look to win 3 more games this year Smile
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DaBears06


Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 114
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad too see that both thug, wisc and burns are white sox fans. I myself am a do or die brewer fan, however i always love too see the more local white sox do well. Now i just have too convince wisc that the brewers are where it's at, then i have a very reasonable voice too listen too. Good luck and Go Bears/Sox... also Blackhawks Laughing
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A_Fan


Joined: 17 Dec 2007
Posts: 770
Location: Chicago
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thug wrote:
Santana leaving the division is huge. Sox look to win 3 more games this year Smile


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Santana passes his physical and signs his contract extension (the two conditions for the trade to be finalized). Pray
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berrianburns80


Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 2779
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaBears06 wrote:
I'm glad too see that both thug, wisc and burns are white sox fans. I myself am a do or die brewer fan, however i always love too see the more local white sox do well. Now i just have too convince wisc that the brewers are where it's at, then i have a very reasonable voice too listen too. Good luck and Go Bears/Sox... also Blackhawks Laughing


So as a Brewers fan, what you think of a possible Crede for Capuano/Dave Bush trade? Does this make sense for them? I know they have Bill Hall at 3rd, but he's more of a utility guy and I'm guessing they are gonna keep him in CF at least until Cameron gets back from suspension.
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wiscbearsfan


Joined: 06 May 2006
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Location: WI
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaBears06 wrote:
I'm glad too see that both thug, wisc and burns are white sox fans. I myself am a do or die brewer fan, however i always love too see the more local white sox do well. Now i just have too convince wisc that the brewers are where it's at, then i have a very reasonable voice too listen too. Good luck and Go Bears/Sox... also Blackhawks Laughing


Hey there, hold up a minute. I think I made it pretty clear I'm a Cubs fan first and foremost! Very Happy

As far as the Brewers are concerned they have done a great job in recent years (FINALLY!) of rebuilding the club. I can't stand alot of the fans though. I know I'm generalizing but their are a ton of completely baseball stupid Brewer fans out there and it can be just brutal. I know it's a byproduct of decades of losing and minimal interest in the team and all but I just get worn out with it.


I think the Sox season really comes down to whether or not they can get a decent starter for Crede. Either Lowry or Capuono could be an OK #3 for them and at least eat some innings. Contreras will have his ups and downs though it seems like more and more downs every year. They really need one of the young arms to step up and do something this year.

The hitting will deffinitely be there this year as all of the guys who slumped terribly should bounce back reasonably well. It would be one thing if they had track records for hitting so poorly but most of them didn't basically proving that it was an abberation.

With Santana gone I deffinitely think the Sox can finish in front of the Twins. The Royals are improving but aren't there yet. That leaves the Sox in 3rd behind the Tigers and Indians but if one of them gets hit with the injury bug or really falters for some reason the Sox could have a very outside chance of a wild card spot.
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