Chicago White Sox: By the Numbers and by the Eye

Steven KersteinContributor IApril 13, 2012

Chicago White Sox: By the Numbers and by the Eye

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    The Chicago White Sox currently boast the respectable mark of three wins and two losses.  

    Yeah, I realize it's only five games.  

    I'm not going to jump to any irrational conclusions  At least, not yet.

    Nonetheless, I've noticed some things that seem encouraging while scanning the morning box scores.

    But the eye can be deceiving.  Being an accounting major, I like numbers.  While the eye may play tricks, numbers have a harder time doing so.

    By using both quantitative and qualitative judgment, we can appropriately breakdown the inaugural week of the 2012 MLB season for the Chicago White Sox.

Alejandro De Aza

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    By the Numbers

    .273 BA .273 OBP 2 HR 3 RBI 5 R 1 SB 5 K 

    So far this young season, De Aza has been more than OK at the plate.  In this past series in Cleveland, the CF slugged two crucial bombs while covering a lot of ground in the OF.  

    My only concerns from the numerical data are his low OBP and his high K mark.  If the Sox are going to have continued success, the 27-year-old needs to cut down on his Ks and draw more walks.  It's as simple as that.

     

    By the Eye

    In De Aza's case, his numbers pretty much align with what I've noticed.  Opposing pitchers have been coming inside, and he's been able to turn on the ball.  Scouting reports will lead other teams to pitch him outside.  When this happens, we will see if De Aza can spray the ball to left field.

Brent Morel

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    By the Numbers

    .063 BA .118 OBP 0 HR 1 RBI 3 R 1 SB 7 K

    Yikes, right?

    Throughout the early part of this season, Morel has looked lost in the majority of his at-bats.  He's been unable to catch up to routine fastballs and has been fishing at breaking balls down in the zone.

    Not a good early prognosis.

     

    By the Eye

    Morel's empty at-bats combined with the botching of a crucial double play were the reasons why the Sox lost the opener.  In reality, The youngster just had a tough week.  I was encouraged by his clutch, two-out RBI single in Cleveland this weekend.

    Let's hope Morel figures it out with the bat and plays good defense. If not, Eduardo Escobar should see some time on the field.

Gordon Beckham

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    By the Numbers

    .176 BA .263 OBP 0 HR 0 RBI 1 R 0 SB 6 K

    Like his pal Morel, Beckham has scuffled out of the gate too.

    Unfortunately, Beck hasn't really eliminated his bad behavior for swinging at junk and often looks overmatched.  Nonetheless, he has roped two doubles so far.  Doubles and Beckham are like peanut butter and jelly.  I'll move onto the observation perspective to spare you from another one of my corny jokes. You're welcome.

     

    By the Eye

    When it comes to Beckham, the talent has always existed.  Confidence, on the other hand, has been a different animal.

    Like most young players,  Beckham goes through his ups and downs.  This season will be very telling.  Can he finally put together a consistent campaign?

    If he displays more confidence, he'll play better.  Simple, yet profound.  Socrates would be proud.

Paul Konerko

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    By the Numbers

    .450 BA .500 OBP 0 HR 5 RBI 5 R 0 SB 3 K

    I've said this before, but it never gets old.  Like a fine wine, Paulie continues to improve with age.  Yeah, he hasn't hit a homer.  But can I really complain when he has nine hits in 20 ABs? Nah.

     

    By the Eye

    The power will come.  Don't worry, Sox fans.

    Sitting back and watching the games, it's amazing watching how much better Paulie has been with two strikes.  Rather than getting defensive, he seems to get more selective.

    Konerko seldom swings at trash, and the results are obvious.  At this rate, he'll be challenging Ted Williams' batting title come September. (Sorry, I just assumed Paulie would keep us this torrid pace. I'll cool down now.)

Adam Dunn

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    By the Numbers

    .222 BA .364 OBP 1 HR 2 RBI 3 R 0 SB 6 K 

    Well, at least he's hitting better than .159 BA.  Having said this, he's still on pace to strike out over 160 times.  From a statistical basis, nothing can be worse than last year for the Big Donkey.

    In Dunn's case, the eye is probably more telling than the math.

     

    By the Eye

    Regardless of the six punch outs, the slugger (dare I call him this) has put together solid at-bats.

    Every time I turn on the TV, he's engaged in a lengthy battle with the pitcher.  Early on, it seems as though Dunn is actually seeing the ball better.  I'm predicting two bombs in the home series against the Tigers this week.  Adam, make me look like a psychic.  Not a psycho.

Alexei Ramirez

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    By the Numbers

    .200 BA .200 OBP 0 HR 1 RBI 0 R 0 SB 6 K 

    While these numbers might be horrible, they are hardly shocking.  Since his arrival in the big leagues, the Cuban Missile tends to struggle in the early parts of the season.

    Whatever the cause, his bad beginnings signal a trend.  Trends belong in the numbers section.

     

    By the Eye

    This part of the analysis really doesn't deviate that much from the numerical analysis. Whether it's the cold weather or a six month hangover, Ramirez struggles out of the gate. 

    By the end of the month, I expect for the notorious slow starter to be back in the thick of things.

AJ Pierzynski

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    By the Numbers

    .313 BA .294 OBP 2 HR 6 RBI 2 R 0 SB 2 K

    If we just looked at numbers, AJ and De Aza would be considered the team's most potent sluggers. This is where numbers can be a bit misleading.

    While watching Pierzynski slug home runs is awesome, it probably won't be an regular occurrence.  In other words, enjoy it while you can.  AJ will end up hitting around .280 or .290 with 12 bombs.

     

    By the Eye

    His numbers speak volumes to what AJ has done in the early part of the season.  His two round trippers in Cleveland set the tone for the two-game set and seemed to get the whole team on track.  Good work, AJ.

Alex Rios

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    By the Numbers

    .154 BA .313 OBP 1 HR 1 RBI 2 R 0 SB 0 K

    You want the good news or bad news first? Good news, Rios hasn't struck out yet this season.  Bad news, he's hitting .154.  

    Then again, Rios did hit the game-winning HR in the team's lone victory in Arlington.  

    In order for him to hit over the Mendoza line, he's gotta let the ball get deeper and drive it up the middle and to the right side of the field.  I guess this is probably a tall order for a guy who's making $12 million this year.

     

    By the Eye

    Even worse, he still looks like he's dogging it.  His nonchalant, careless attitude is extremely frustrating for fans to watch.

    In the field, he has already dropped a routine fly ball and didn't really seem to care. Get it together, Alex.  

Dayan Viciedo

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    By the Numbers

    .267 BA .313 OBP 0 HR 0 RBI 0 R 0 SB 2 K

    Yeah, the power isn't there. Yet.  Just wait, Sox fans.

    The youngster has already ripped two doubles hitting out of the eighth spot.  My guess is that Ventura will end up moving him up in the order and moving Rios or Ramirez down.

    For Viciedo, hitting above his weight might not ever happen. (If you haven't seen him yet, he's made a couple trips to Lou Malnati's since his arrival to the bigs.)

     

    By the Eye

    In the eighth spot, the youngster lacks protection and therefore isn't seeing any decent pitches. Opposing pitchers have been throwing the slugger nothing but outside junk.

    If Robin moves him up, he'll start getting opportunities to prove that he can be a force in this league.

Starting Rotation

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    By the Numbers

    Chris Sale: 1-0 W-L 1.35 ERA 0.75 WHIP 5 K

    John Danks: 1-1 W-L 5.40 ERA 1.54 WHIP 9 K

    Gavin Floyd: 0-1 W-L 6.35 ERA 1.24 WHIP 3 K

    Jake Peavy: 0-0 W-L 4.50 ERA 1.50 WHIP 5 K

    Because of the rainout, Phil Humber hasn't been able to show off his talent this year.  The numbers really haven't been that impressive.  Nonetheless, the Sox were able to compete and hang around with the Rangers.  With that lineup, that's no easy task.  

     

    By the Eye

    Regardless of the numbers, I've been pleasantly surprised from what I've seen out of the pitching staff.

    Sale was terrific in his first career start against the Indians.

    Danks has been better than the John Danks of 2011, while Peavy has looked like a shell of his former self.

    Although Floyd struggled, the Texas Rangers are no slouches.  All in all, a pretty positive report card for the starting five.

Bullpen

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    By the Numbers

    Jesse Crain: 0-0 W-L 0.00 ERA 0.50 WHIP 3 K

    Matt Thornton: 1-0 W-L 0.00 ERA 1.09 WHIP 2 K

    Addison Reed: 0-0 W-L 0.00 ERA 0.00 WHIP 1 K

    Nathan Jones: 0-0 W-L 0.00 ERA 2.00 WHIP 1 K

    Will Ohman: 0-0 W-L 9.00 ERA 1.50 WHIP 2 K

    Hector Santiago: 2 SV 4.50 ERA 0.50 WHIP 2 K

    Other than than the two homers served up by Ohman and Santiago, the bullpen has been fantastic in this short time period.

    They haven't walked many guys and have kept opposing offenses quiet.  Hopefully, these young guns can continue to keep this trend up.

     

    By the Eye

    I've been really impressed by how Matt Thornton has handled not being named the closer. If the Sox are going to have any success, Thornton and Crain will need to pitch effectively.  

    Other than Ohman, nobody in this group of guys gets me cringing in my seat during the late innings of a game.  Unless the ghost of Scott Linebrink shows up.

Conclusion

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    All in all, this is a pretty positive report for a team that has extremely low expectations.  The team had a productive road trip, and fans should look forward to this weekend's clash with the Tigers.  

    Hopefully, we can be talking about another nice week out of the club come next Friday.  

    Who knows maybe Alex Rios will try?  

    Maybe AJ Pierzynski will continue his power trip?

    I guess you are going to have to wait and see.