The Twins could force the issue by running away in the AL Central. The White Sox already are eight games back, barely showing a pulse.
Trade for Adrian Gonzalez? Please.
Barring a turnaround, the Sox should just dust off their white flag and dump their potential free agents: Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, Andruw Jones and J.J. Putz.
May 10, 2010
If the Sox keep losing games, do you think Ken Williams will add a big player like he did last year with Peavy and Rios, or do you think hell be selling?
I think he’ll sell, although they’ll spin it by saying they’re getting better for the future. Which means he’ll be looking to acquire major league-ready talent.
Rios’ line is up to .324/.361/.604 on the year. … he’s posting easily the best contact rates of his career, and he’s maintained a walk rate near his 6% career mark. But his power is back (6 HR, 1 3B, 11 2B in 29 games) and he appears to have made some legitimate adjustments at the plate. He’s swinging and missing significantly less even though he’s swinging more often than before, reflecting a distinctly different approach than the one we saw last fall. He’s taking very few first-pitch strikes, his 46% mark is the third-lowest in the majors. He’s hitting the ball into the air more often again after hitting the ball on the ground 43% of the time last season, that mark is down to 35% of the time this year. Oh, and he’s already stolen 9 bases this season, which makes him one of game’s more interesting power-speed players. ZiPS now projects Rios to finish the year with a .364 wOBA, about 18 runs above average per 600 plate appearances. And like with Byrd, his limited defensive numbers have been quite good this year, with +4 marks in both UZR and DRS. He’s been good for 1.8 fWAR, easily the best on the team.
He’s showing late-inning stuff, though. Santos hasn’t been 0.73 ERA-level good, but he has posted rates of 11.68 K/9 and 3.65 BB/9, with a 45.8 percent ground ball rate and a 2.62 xFIP. It’s only 12.1 innings, but Santos is succeeding with 95-96 MPH heat, mid-80’s breaking stuff and a hard changeup. His swinging strike rate is 14.4 percent (the average for relievers is between 9-10 percent), and his 65 percent contact rate is fourth-lowest among MLB relievers logging at least 10 innings pitched.
Through the first five weeks of the 2010 regular season, the White Sox have operated under the “Santos Rules” when using this phenom. If Santos warms up in the bullpen, he always comes into a game. He has not pitched more than 1 1/3 innings in any one outing, and Santos’ back-to-back efforts have been limited to one scoreless inning against Cleveland on April 8 and facing three Minnesota hitters on April 9.
“Everything that goes on with him, I promise you, is calculated,” Cooper said. “Each time we are going a little further so he’s going to have more and more opportunities in more critical situations.”
The 23-year-old features a running fastball that sits in the low 90s as well as a change-up he said he will “throw to anybody in any count.” Though his slider is his third-best pitch, Hudson said, “When it’s on, it’s really on, but when it doesn’t work, I rely on my change-up more.”