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The maudlin and the mundane

A glimpse at the Marcel projections for the 2019 White Sox staff

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Jonesin’: Marcel sez Nate Jones, at 3.51, will have the best ERA on the White Sox staff in 2019.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

OK, the Marcel projections for the 2019 Chicago White Sox staff are out. And, well, hopefully we have some trades and signings coming.

I’m not going to drill down too deeply into this, and it’s obviously not meant as some sort of deadbolt lock prediction on the coming season. But, a few quick takes:

  • Reynaldo López holds serve with his ERA, while fellow core starters Lucas Giolito and Carlos Rodón make strides forward. For Giolito, chiseling an ERA down to 5.01 might not seem like much, but reaching that level might represent some progress. Maybe?
  • Apparent fourth starter Dylan Covey takes a tough step back, to a 5.22 ERA. That’s not gonna work, whether in the rotation or out of the pen.
  • A smattering of names (Evan Marshall, his identical twin Evan Marshall, and Mauricio Cabrera) surface here, with no business in White Sox projections.
  • Likewise, unless Michael Kopech is committed to double-timing his TJS rehab, we will not see any innings from him.
  • Nate Jones appears to be, perhaps along with López and Rodón, the only actual major league pitcher on the staff.
  • No house-on-fire projections of the bullpen, especially if you discount the Carson Fulmer cameo here, but not much to write home about beyond Jones. I suppose Juan Minaya looks OK, and Ian Hamilton and Caleb Frare project solidly in small innings loads.
  • Aaron Bummer with an ERA better than Jace Fry? Yikes, if so, the White Sox really did need to sell high on Fry. Hopefully, if Bummer truly does outpitch Fry, it’s because his big arm has turned the corner and he’s lights-out, getting setup and save opps — not because Fry has a sophomore slump.
  • And take note of the column on the far right, the bigger a recent sample size the projection has to work with, the more reliable it is. For the 2018 September call-ups like Hamilton or José Ruiz, that means these projections are essentially chucking a cupcake at the wall. For the core starters, these projections come with roughly a 70% reliability factor.

Overall, the projections account for just 1,175 innings pitched, or no more than 131 games of the season. So there are still some surprises under the tree.

Like ... the projected record! Didja see, didja see?

Hey man, these projections place the White Sox at 62-69. That’s a .473 winning percentage! Projecting to a 77-85 record!