White Sox Ranting: Week of June 7
Unfortunately, the White Sox didn’t even make an attempt at making a deal with the Pirates for this guy.
2. Scott Podsednik can’t do it all on his own. Yes, I know his speed is down consistently from 2005, but he is getting on base just as much if not more than he did during the '05 season. He has been at second base countless times with less than two outs over the last two weeks, and every time the White Sox failed to get him in.
This actually happened again in the first inning of yesterday’s game as Pods led off the game with a double to deep center field. Ramirez then proceeded to strike out, Jim Thome moved him to third base on a sacrifice fly, and Paul Konerko popped out to second base. This has become the trend for the White Sox, especially at home for some reason.
My theory on why this happens specifically at home has a lot to do with perceptions. When the White Sox were trying to acquire Jake Peavy, one of the reasons his agent listed as to why he did not want to pitch for the White Sox was that US Cellular Field was too home run friendly. The White Sox seem to let this perception get in their heads.
On the road, the White Sox have better situational hitting, don’t rely on the home run too much, and generate a lot of runs. At home, however, the White Sox try too hard to take advantage of the way balls fly out of the stadium on the south side. This leads to them looking terrible on off-speed pitches and has them overlooking going the other way and driving in runs with singles.
3. While I understand the White Sox are trying very hard to develop their young players as much as they can this season, it might have made a little bit more sense to let the current team figure out who they are before bringing up Gordon Beckham so early in the season.
Don’t get me wrong, the guy is probably going to be a very good baseball player, but he simply is not ready to be on a major league roster. Yes, he hit over .326 combined in Double-A and Triple-A, but there is a big difference between hitting .326 in the minor leagues and hitting over .300 in the majors. While I do believe he should have been bought up at some point this season, it might’ve been better to see how the season shakes out.
If the White Sox are out of the race by late August, then I would be perfectly fine with bringing up the youngsters to see how they do as the White Sox will probably face a mass free-agent exodus after this season. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Beckham will start hitting, but if he is anything like former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura and goes 0-41 to start the season after his debut, the White Sox will be in big trouble.
If the White Sox plan in keeping Beckham here for the rest of the season, my idea is to move him to second base and make a trade for a third baseman. Josh Fields simply cannot play third base right now, he can’t field the position and just looks plain terrible at the plate.
4. The White Sox quite simply need to stabilize their center field position. Dewayne Wise should never be an everyday outfielder, and Brian Anderson is too inconsistent to warrant him playing every day.
Maybe it isn’t all Anderson’s fault. Throughout his career with the White Sox, he has seemed to catch every bit of bad luck possible. In 2006, he struggled for most of the first half of the season prompting Ozzie to replace him in center field. However, for the rest of that season, in limited playing time, he hit over .300 and looked great at the plate, while his replacement in center field, Rob Mackowiac, may have single-handedly cost the White Sox three or four games in a close division race because of his lack of defensive ability.
The best option is to keep Brian Anderson in center and give him a chance to really show that he can be a consistent offensive presence. Kenny Williams should be taking hard looks at any center fielder who could potentially be on the trade market.
I wouldn’t be against bringing back former White Sox favorite Aaron Rowand to the Southside, but since he was recently signed to a five-year contract with the Giants and is playing very well so far this season hitting above .300 with six home runs and 25 RBI, I don’t think that will happen. But there are a lot of players who are a lot like him who the White Sox can use both at the top of the order and near the bottom.
5. The bottom line is that the current lineup out there is not a championship-caliber team. The White Sox are maybe one bat away, but it is more realistic to say they are a few players away from being a championship contender.
One can only hope that if the White Sox are in the race by the trade deadline that Kenny Williams pulls one of his trademark under the radar deals that will bring a much-needed lift to a team that at times has looked completely dead in the water. I do not think that the White Sox need to continue to look to trade for pitchers.
What I would like to see is the White Sox pull the trigger on a player like third baseman Chone Figgins or even an outfielder like Mike Cameron, guys with speed that will help us fill some of our biggest weak spots in the lineup which are third base and center field.
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