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White Sox trying not to give in to seller's market

Parity and injuries combine to futher thin out talent for contenders, giving under-.500 teams hope

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Rick Hahn met with reporters to discuss the White Sox' disappointing first half, which you could downgrade to "abysmal" if you're considering the offense first.

With seven teams between the Sox and the second wild card spot, Hahn still isn't conceding the possibility of a hot streak, if only because this entire team shoudn't be historically bad, but ...

"It is hard having now seen this for 81 games, to not trust what your eyes are showing you," Hahn said. "And it’s showing you it’s not clicking for whatever reason and you’ve got to change this mix.

"Those are the two avenues in front of us right now."

While Kenny Williams was knocked for showing up in Detroit talking about a "three-year plan" that had never really been described as such, the front office seems to be playing the long game this season-- which is a nice way to say they've been extremely reluctant to address underwater positions in front of them. Admittedly, any switch they make is little more than a shot in the dark, but ... Emilio Bonifacio is 1-for-22 since the start of June, his OPS+ is -2, he still hasn't stolen a base this year, and Robin Ventura has to make up reasons for him to play. Start with that roster spot, then maybe move on to coming to terms with John Danks' future.

They haven't, so I'm guessing the Sox are maintaining normalcy through the deadline to get an honest evaluation of their veterans, before shifting into evaluation mode over the next two months. That might mean Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez in a Thunderdome at second base. Maybe some Matt Davidson at third, just to see if there's anything real there. Maybe some Trayce Thompson in the outfield.

But it's hard to say that'll happen until the Sox start shifting roles for roster spots begging for a change. Last year, the Sox let Gordon Beckham slump through mid-August last season before finally giving their rookies some run in the second half, and they really haven't shown themselves to be any more proactive when it comes to toggling the interchangeable roles this year.


It really does look like a seller's market, even if there aren't any strong rumors to know for sure. The circumstantial evidence: No single contender looks like a world-beater, and the middle class is so bloated that more teams than usual might feel a run is still in them. Moreover, Wednesday alone saw three big-name players leave with injuries of varying degrees.

*Alex Gordon suffered what is being called right now a groin strain. But that label seems to undersell the injury, as Gordon said he "heard the muscle pop," and he needed to be carted off the field. The medical staff says the muscle didn't detach, but he will undergo an MRI to determine the severity. Ned Yost is prepared to be without Gordon for multiple months.

*Scott Kazmir left his start after three innings and 50 pitches with left triceps tightness. He called it "super minor" and Athletics Nation says he dealt with a similar issue in 2014. Considering he's one of Jeff Samardzija's peers on the second tier of potentially available starters, this could affect the Smarch market.

*Jason Hammel left his start against the Cardinals after one inning with left hamstring tightness, and unlike the Kazmir situation, neither Hammel nor the Cubs are downplaying it. It doesn't seem as bad as the Gordon situation, but it could require a trip to the disabled list, and make the North Siders' need for a starting pitcher even greater.

The American League is a war of attrition right now, which is the exact kind of situation that makes it easier than it should be to hope for a run from a last-place team. But patience slips into complacency at some point, and it looks a lot like the latter when even minor tweaks to a last-place team are only made begrudgingly.