One of the more fun jokes on South Side are the attempts to justify various points by picking an arbitrary date to prove a point. "Player X is doing well since May 1st. Over the last 2 weeks. Since Greg Walker was fir-……" You get the point.
What's the saying? There are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics. As a result and in the same spirit I've decided on the 1st quarter mark to look at the Pale Hose offense. Well that and the fact they sucked more than usual at the end of April.
The White Sox offense has been a little like the Chicago Weather. 2 days (or weeks) of blistering heat, followed by some off the chart fall to cold streakiness and then finally settling into an average temp the city should have probably been anyway.
.246/.313/.378 wOBA .306 (Tied for 10th in AL)
1B (.322/.391/.555 wOBA .406)- Konerko - Team Captain has pretty much picked right back up from where he left off in 2010. What regression? Frankly Paulie just looks like a better hitter as he ages and he has just murdered fastballs...
2B (.218/.264.338 wOBA .267)- Beckham - In between calls for his benching for the ghost of Kotsay and the living remains of Vizquel, Gordon has managed to slightly rebound from an ugly April in which we changed our mindset from Bend it like Beckham to "Broken Beckham." He still leads the world in infield popups, so much so that even Hawk can't proclaim "He just missed it." Of note. Becks is in AJ territory for swing % outside the strike zone. The big problem with that is he's not near the contact rates that AJ pulls off when doing it. Wheel it in chief.
SS (.255/.323/.376 wOBA .310)- Alexei - Its odd to be happy with such a line for the starting shortstop but if his normal routine continues this might make for one of his best offensive years. Alexei's career April wOBA is .241. He bumped that up .306 this year and its time for his familar "hot conditions" calendar wise. Brace yourself. Alexei has 15 walks already.
3B (.226/.234/.280 wOBA .226)- Morel - Well at least he doesn't strike out all the time.... 12.9% rate. That's about the only thing for Brent to hang his hat on offensively. The total team offense is not at a level to hide him right now and worse he's had some hiccups defensively canceling out his range advantage. Overall Larry reminds us that a .700 OPS is all we should have ever hoped for and this rookie's struggling is hardly a surprise.
LF (.242/.316/.268 wOBA .258)- Pierre - His numbers are better at this point than last year but Jim has correctly pointed out his woes in stealing bases (6/14) has cancelled some his gains in a higher inital OBP. It really doesn't matter because the numbers still suck. Further adding to the misery of this corner OF is his defense (another day). Right now the White Sox roll out one of the worst performing players in baseball every bleeping day.
CF (.200/.316/.268 wOBA .256)- Rios - My number one worry at the start of the season was Alex's bat. He's been outhit by Juan Pierre. Should I say more?
RF (.257/.344./.528 wOBA .378)- Q! - A putrid May has taken the gloss off an otherwise good start. Q's BABIP is back in the .250 territory. The good news is at home his OPS is sub .600 and that won't continue. He still has more work to do to shed the "two weeks hot" label but a 60 doubles pace is kind of cool.
C (.254/.287/.311 wOBA .266) - AJ - This a man that almost never strikes out. Unfortunately he also almost never hits for power (.057 ISO). AJ will improve in the summer as usual but its clear his best days are behind him.
DH (.216/.343/.397 wOBA .334)- Dunn - Sexual Chocolate lost some insides and talked about playing in a couple days. Once the drugs wore off not only did he realize it would take a few days longer but upon return his stroke seemed to suffer. May has however brought out the 14 million man and he's key in any Sox resurgence. The full power has yet to appear but Dunn's managed an OBP 130 points higher than his batting avg. That puts him back to the levels of pre 2010.
Lillibridge (.281/.368/.563 wOBA .403) - Applauded for his game savings catches but has actually done well in his limited at bats. We've seen this video before, can he hold up as the season progresses? Lastings is a distant memory.
Vizquel (.324/.350/.405 wOBA .326) - Every team should employ a 43 year old.
Teahan (.226/.317/.321 wOBA .294) - Ugh why o why did he get all that money? Even he doesn't have a DL stint my guess is Dayan is here by all star break to stay.
Castro (.200/.243/.314 wOBA .250) - Well this means more AJ
The team had its share of aces and quality starters the 1st quarter but definitely failed to punish pitchers in bad spots after the first 2 weeks. Ozzie has moved the lineup around and tried different combinations but he still refuses to relieve Juan of the lead off spot. Alexei may get a shot soon, especially if Morel continues to struggle and Vizquel gets additional time. Despite all the ups and usual April downs the White Sox offense can actually be pretty good moving forward barring injuries. The upcoming home stand should tell us a quite a bit.