Well folks, it’s a wrap: This team isn’t going anywhere. Trade everyone.
I kid, of course, but it’s almost certainly for the best that the South Siders’ third spring training contest — and the first fielding a regular lineup — did not receive a TV broadcast, as Cleveland victimized young White Sox pitching to the tune of a nine-run fifth inning and 11-2 victory.
The White Sox A-lineup provided little thump in their first taste of 2022 action together, as Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, José Abreu, Yoán Moncada, Eloy Jiménez, and Yasmani Grandal combined to go 1-for-12 on the afternoon. Anderson provided the lone hit, a fourth-inning infield single to the left side, and Abreu and Grandal added a walk each.
There were some things to be excited about after things were already out of hand: Yoelqui Céspedes homered for the second consecutive game (a solo blast in the eighth inning), and Micker Adolfo recorded two more hits. The final run of the game came on a single from José Rodríguez, the organization’s most promising upper-minors infield prospect.
On the pitching side, things started in promising fashion, as minor league free agent signings Brandon Finnegan and Kyle Crick began the game with three perfect innings, albeit without a strikeout. Both are former first-round picks: The 28-year old Finnegan was drafted by the Royals in 2014 before heading to Cincinnati as a part of the 2015 Johnny Cueto deal, while the 29-year old Crick went to San Francisco 49th overall in 2011 and was dealt to Pittsburgh — alongside Bryan Reynolds — for Andrew McCutchen before the 2018 season. Finnegan appears destined for Triple-A in almost any case, and while Crick has shown closer-caliber stuff in the past — striking out 126 over 109 innings of 3.54 ERA pitching for the Pirates in 2018 and 2019 — he will be battling some combination of José Ruiz, Matt Foster, Ryan Burr, and Anderson Severino for the last spot in the bullpen.
Things unraveled in the fifth inning. McKinley Moore, a 14th-round pick out of Arkansas in 2019, walked the first hitter he saw before allowing three consecutive singles and, after a pair of sacrifice flies, a hit-by-pitch and double before being lifted. His replacement, Zack Muckenhirn, could do little better, also walking his opening hitter before allowing four consecutive hits. Many of these hits weren’t particularly hard-hit, as Darrin Jackson repeatedly noted with exasperation, but the White Sox momentum was nonetheless killed, and most starters were removed from the game after the subsequent half-inning.
No more pitchers likely to sniff the major league roster appeared after Crick: the rest of the game was handled by Yoelvin Polanco (2 IP), Johan Dominguez (2 IP), and Taylor Broadway (IP; no relation to Lance), who allowed seven more hits and two runs with six strikeouts over the remaining five innings of work.
Cleveland faces off with Oakland tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. CST; the White Sox take on the Rockies five minutes later, with Vince Velasquez expected to make his debut.
Who was the MVP in the White Sox 11-2 loss to the Guardians?
This poll is closed
Brandon Finnegan (2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K)
Yoelqui Céspedes (1-for-2, HR, R, RBI, K)
Micker Adolfo (2-for-2, 2 1B)
Who was the Cold Cat in the White Sox 11-2 loss to the Guardians?
This poll is closed
McKinley Moore (2/3 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, BB, 0 K)
Zach Muckenhirn (1/3 IP. 4 H, 3 ER, BB, 0 K)
Carlos Pérez (0-for-2, 4 LOB)