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Gamethread: White Sox vs. Guardians

South Siders send out fully-powered lineup for first single-squad spring contest.

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox-Workouts
The keystone combo of Tim Anderson and Josh Harrison is ready to face down the floundering Guardians in their first of ~38 meetings this season.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

In most gamethreads, there’s a lot of context, news, and general need-to-know information that precedes the lineups, pitching matchups, and any other game-specific info.

This being the first full-squad scrimmage game of 2022, we have none of that! They’re not even on TV today — all we’re getting is radio and a box score for the first semi-quasi-real-ish game of this season. So let’s just get straight to the lineup cards and talk about what there is to talk about:

Let’s start at the top. You might notice that according to this lineup card, the Sox are set to play against a team that no longer exists, as the Cleveland baseball club now (thankfully) goes by the “Guardians” moniker. It seems that one of two things has happened, both of which are hilariously indicative of where the White Sox stand entering the 2022 season. It’s very possible that whoever was in charge of these cards simply forgot, which could be easy to do considering the team’s apparent insistence on running everything back from the 2021 season: The only difference between today’s lineup and the one that got blown out of the water by Houston six months ago is the addition of Josh Harrison, a fine ballplayer who nonetheless would not have done much to change any outcomes in the 31-18 overall shellacking they received at the hands of the Astros.

Alternatively, it’s possible that the lineup cards for spring training were printed long ago, and the team was simply too lazy or cheap to get some new ones. That may be even a better analogue for where the team stands entering play in 2022.

With Carlos Correa now in Minneapolis on a three-year, $103 million pact and Javier Báez manning the six-hole in Detroit following a nine-figure deal of his own, the two teams playing here today are the only teams in the AL Central division who have (arguably) gotten worse, rather than better. It’s clear that Tony La Russa intended to put his A+ lineup on the field today, and that lineup still includes Leury García as the starting right fielder. While Albert Einstein never actually said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” there’s a reason that it lives in popular lore: it rings true! It sure seems to apply to the offensive plan for the 2021 2022 White Sox, in any case.

You already know most of what there is to now about this lineup — because it’s the exact same one we’ve seen for most of the past three years — so let’s move to the mound, where former [Brett edit: HORNED FROGS] College World Series hero and Royals first-round draft pick Brandon Finnegan takes the ball for the Pale Hose.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Finnegan is a name that some might remember: The 28-year old lefthander was drafted 14th overall by Kansas City in 2014 and subsequently became the first pitcher to appear in the College and MLB World Series in the same year. He signed with the White Sox in December on a minor league deal after an up-and-down, seven-year run in the Reds organization, who acquired him in the 2015 deal that sent Johnny Cueto to the eventual World Champion Royals.

Finnegan showed flashes of promise early in his career, peaking with a respectable 3.98 ERA (with a 10-11 record and 2.1 WAR) over 172 innings in 2016, but shoulder surgery and other arm issues wiped out the majority of his 2017 and 2018 seasons, and his career never recovered. Most recently, he pitched to a 5.53 ERA in 40 appearances — all but one out of the bullpen — for Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate in 2021. It’s unclear whether the White Sox intend to employ Finnegan in a similar role, or whether he’ll return to a starting job for a Charlotte team that currently lacks any veteran depth in their rotation.

First pitch today is at 3:05 p.m. Central and will be broadcast via radio on ESPN 1000; no TV broadcast will be available, so just pantomime the action in your own heads.