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Doubling 2017 White Sox numbers at the 81-game mark

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Jose Abreu is a rock, Yolmer Sanchez is a surprise, and the pitching staff is a mess

Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

With a victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday, the White Sox hit the halfway point of the season at 36-45. That puts them on pace for a 72-90 season, which is a bit ahead of where than Josh (70-92) and I (68-94) had them on the Opening Day episode of the South Side Sox Podcast.

Of course, the roster is subject to great change over the second half, which makes it difficult to simply double the numbers. If they gut the bullpen and open a couple of corner spots for a game of Below Replacement Musical Chairs, they could end up below either of our predictions. Or, if they’re like the Los Angeles Angels, they’ll somehow get better after losing the services of their best players.

The same can be said for the players themselves, which is why doubling their numbers is kind of a silly exercise. Yet here I am doing it, mainly to get a better sense of what kind of seasons they’re really having.

Hitters

Name G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB/CS BB SO BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ GDP HBP IBB
Name G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB/CS BB SO BA/OBP/SLG OPS+ GDP HBP IBB
Omar Narvaez 88 292 24 62 6 0 0 10 0/0 34 36 .244/.333/.268 67 4 0 0
Jose Abreu 160 698 100 190 44 4 30 110 0/0 40 118 .295/.344/.516 129 26 10 4
Yolmer Sanchez 138 510 64 126 22 8 8 46 8/12 40 100 .275/.337/.410 102 8 4 2
Tim Anderson 144 602 64 140 22 2 14 48 10/0 18 162 .242/.267/.360 68 10 2 0
Todd Frazier 144 594 70 106 22 0 30 80 8/6 86 124 .213/.333/.438 106 4 4 2
Melky Cabrera 156 684 90 178 24 0 18 94 0/0 48 82 .285/.335/.410 101 14 2 0
Leury Garcia 112 400 56 108 18 2 12 44 12/10 18 68 .298/.345/.459 116 6 10 0
Avisail Garcia 150 618 80 184 34 6 22 102 4/4 26 134 .318/.362/.512 134 16 14 4
Matt Davidson 132 484 60 110 16 2 34 78 0/2 24 200 .242/.281/.511 108 16 2 0
Tyler Saladino 60 256 20 44 8 4 0 8 4/6 26 70 .200/.302/.273 58 2 6 0
Kevan Smith 74 252 24 68 16 0 2 26 0/0 2 48 .283/.302/.375 83 6 6 0
Willy Garcia 62 170 20 36 6 4 2 16 0/0 12 50 .237/.286/.368 76 2 0 0
Adam Engel 42 132 24 32 6 0 4 8 8/10 8 36 .276/.344/.431 109 2 4 0
Alen Hanson 110 206 38 14 2 0 2 8 8/2 14 30 .229/.282/.313 59 4 0 0

Five observations:

No. 1: Last season, Jose Abreu invited significant concern about his future with his first half, as he posted a .754 OPS over his first 81 games. As luck would have it, the White Sox hit the halfway point on July 2 as well, so his 162-game numbers are the same as his calendar year numbers. Those numbers are .309/.364/.509 with 29 homers and 107 RBIs.

No. 2: Among Tyler Saladino’s problems, both physical and results-based, it hurts that his baserunning numbers are in the red. If he’s not an above-average runner/basestealing threat, then the only thing that separates him from the other utility players is good defense at third base, which might not be enough to tilt any scales.

No. 3: Yolmer Sanchez’s preseason projection according to FanGraphs: .240/.283/.354, .277 wOBA, aka the glove-first embodiment of “replacement-level.” Over the first 81 games, he turned in a .322 wOBA, and is now on pace for a 2-3 WAR season.

No. 4: If Adam Dunn could find a taker in August, Melky Cabrera can find a taker in August, if not before.

No. 5: Speaking of Dunn, the top five strikeout rates in White Sox history, minimum 400 plate appearances:

  1. Tyler Flowers, 36.0%, 2014
  2. Adam Dunn, 35.7%, 2011
  3. Dunn, 34.2%, 2012
  4. Dave Nicholson, 33.7%, 1963
  5. Dunn, 31.1%, 2013

I bring this is up because Matt Davidson is at 41.3 percent, which would also shatter the MLB record of 38.8 percent, which Melvin Nieves set with the 1997 Tigers. Go get ‘em, kid.

Pitchers

Name W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP ERA+ FIP
Name W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP ERA+ FIP
Jose Quintana 8 16 4.45 34 34 0 198 186 104 98 26 76 198 4 14 95 4.06
Derek Holland 10 16 4.52 32 32 0 175.1 186 110 88 34 72 152 10 6 94 5.33
Miguel Gonzalez 8 16 5.15 26 26 0 157.1 184 104 90 26 52 90 2 0 83 5.18
Mike Pelfrey 6 12 4.13 28 26 0 110.2 122 68 60 18 56 82 10 0 103 5.2
Dylan Covey 0 8 8.12 16 16 0 75.1 104 68 68 26 32 44 2 6 53 7.82
James Shields 4 2 3.98 12 12 0 63.1 56 30 28 14 34 52 6 2 108 6.27
David Robertosn 8 4 3 54 0 24 60 40 20 20 8 20 88 2 4 143 3.04
Anthony Swarzak 8 4 2.61 66 0 0 76 58 22 22 2 20 78 0 2 164 2.22
Dan Jennings 6 2 4.05 76 0 0 66.2 58 32 30 10 30 50 2 0 106 5.03
Tommy Kahnle 0 4 2.2 66 0 0 65.1 46 20 16 4 14 110 0 2 194 1.22
Chris Beck 2 0 3.62 58 0 0 64.2 54 28 26 10 30 48 4 2 118 5.25
David Holmberg 2 4 3.03 34 12 0 77.1 58 38 26 10 32 44 2 0 141 5.01
Michael Ynoa 2 0 5.9 44 0 0 58 56 44 38 8 44 46 10 6 73 6.14
Gregory Infante 0 0 4.79 38 0 0 41.1 48 22 22 6 20 36 0 0 90 4.74
Juan Minaya 2 0 5.79 20 0 0 28 26 18 18 4 18 40 0 0 75 4.07
Nate Jones 2 0 2.31 22 0 0 23.1 18 6 6 2 12 30 2 2 189 3.49
Jake Petricka 2 0 9.28 18 0 0 21.1 34 24 22 6 6 26 0 0 47 5.21

Five observations:

No. 1: There are only seven White Sox pitchers who recorded more than 100 strikeouts from a relief role. All of them needed 100 innings to do it, including Terry Forster, who struck out 104 over exactly 100 innings in 1972. That gives you some context for what Tommy Kahnle is doing.

No. 2: Jose Quintana would be on pace for a 200-inning season if his defense didn’t let him down one by one on Sunday.

No. 3: Derek Holland has been frustrating as of late, but that overall season line would be squarely within the realm of expectations for all of 2017, and maybe even on the optimistic side. ZiPS had him pegged at a 4.87 ERA over half the innings due to injury history, although with a FIP that’s a run lower.

No. 4: Jake Petricka’s career-high strikeout rate comes at the expense of his ground ball rate. He went from being a 64-percent groundballer to 46 percent this year. It hasn’t worked for him.

No. 5: I did not double some of those FIPs.