Although it may feel like the White Sox are wobbling like Jose Bautista after two series losses and a defeat in the Houston opener, this is still a different season. Case in point: Rick Hahn is talking only about adding, not subtracting:
Hahn said he was "prepared to make a big move today if it presents itself," but noted trade talks generally don't pick up for another few weeks.
"Unfortunately, our timing might not line up with the other 29 clubs just yet," Hahn said.
Pitching remains a need as the Sox's fifth-starter job has been in question since they parted with John Danks on May 3. But adding a big-name reliever also will be an option they will consider.
There probably won't be anything substantial until the MLB draft comes and goes, but this is still pleasing to the ears and eyes. It's been a while since the Sox have had a reason to pursue upgrades, rather than wait for a hot streak that makes it worth pursuing.
That's some degree of solace, but wins would help more since bullpen regression is just one of the most painful forms of regression. I imagine the topic became a little more pressing after seeing Nate Jones leave a game after a line drive, followed by Matt Albers give up the go-ahead solo homer. If Albers is the primary setup guy in front of David Robertson, that's close to a unit in chaos.
The good news is despite the struggles, they haven't been outclassed in any of the losses, which is ultimately positive even if it inadvertently adds to the irritation (it'd be more useful to give Jose Quintana five runs and Miguel Gonzalez one, but hey).
- White Sox, Astros have different views on controversial non-call | CSN Chicago
- Video: Springer steals second base - MLB.com
While A.J. Hinch maintained that Carlos Correa did enough to get out of the way of Alex Avila on George Springer's stolen base preceding Evan Gattis' homer Tuesday night, the Astros' booth saw interference on the first replay. I hadn't given this any thought during the catcher transition, but I guess I would've figured that veteran catchers might be able to get this call for the Sox for once.
- White Sox's Jose Abreu says power numbers will start heating up soon - Chicago Tribune
- Using Statcast Against Jose Abreu - FanGraphs Baseball
While Jose Abreu has bounced back in May, his power numbers are still lagging behind (his homer against Dallas Keuchel is a start). The Sox think warmer weather will help, and I think there's something to that, but Jeff Sullivan notes how much Abreu is getting attacked by inside fastballs this season, which is forcing him to settle for less.
Following up on Tim Anderson's surge, Scott Merkin talks to a few members of the Sox brain trust, who say that Anderson's at his best when he's going all out. That's half-satisfying, half-concerning, since Anderson has banged himself up with his baserunning. Then again, Adam Eaton has struck a balance in that regard.
Here are the Twins to show us it could be worse, as Aaron Gleeman questions whether Terry Ryan is clothed.
Ryan held the GM job from 1995-2007, stepped down while handing the keys to his preferred replacement, and remained involved with the team before re-taking the GM job in 2012. He neither left a clean slate for Smith nor was he left a clean slate by Smith. His second stint as GM has been littered with questionable decision-making, bad free agent spending, the inability to develop pitchers, and an overall sense that the Twins are lagging behind most teams in lots of key areas on and off the field. Or as Twins owner Jim Pohlad phrased it earlier this month in assessing the damage: "Total system failure." Ultimately, though, it can also be objectively boiled down to this: Terry Ryan is the Twins and the Twins have been very bad for six years and a below-.500 team with zero postseason success for 20 years.
Baseball's ongoing celebration of Bartolo Colon has always puzzled me slightly, although that's because I remember him disappearing on the White Sox, and the general baseball world has no real reason to care about that. Here's another reminder that he's kind of a weird guy, and based on the way other missteps (PED suspension) have rolled off him, I'm guessing this won't gain much traction among his fans, either.
I really enjoyed this profile of Paul Lukas, who has been writing about sports uniforms for nearly 20 years. While I can't entirely relate to his focus area, this I get:
Paul Lukas has devoted his life's work to the obsessive chronicling of the inconspicuous.
"There's all this stuff that either is so obscure that we don't notice it or so right under our noses that we essentially stop noticing it," Lukas said. "The stories behind those things are what interests me a lot, why is this thing called this thing, or variants of functional specificity, who invented this thing that has this very specific function?"
"The Brannock Device is like my quintessential example of this," he said—the thing you use to measure your shoe size. "It's a universal touchstone in our culture; like there's literally nobody in America you can think of whose foot has not been in a Brannock Device at some point. But almost nobody knows what it's called. So it's simultaneously ubiquitous and anonymous, which to me is a very powerful combination." Lukas's work seeks mainly to elucidate that anonymity, to give it names and histories and cultural context. His devotion is such that he sports a Brannock Device tattoo.