clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Grading the White Sox first half

We’ve spent weeks in the lab to develop our new metric, WARsss — and we’re debuting it for you!

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
Whether you think the world needs another baseball metric, Dylan Cease being the White Sox team leader in WARsss should at least convince you it is legit.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The crack staff at South Side Sox is always working hard for you, dear reader. And our research lab, camouflaged in an unknown locale rumored to be on the deep, deep South Side, has unearthed a brand-new metric for you:


Yes, this revolutionary new statistical development will be employed at times over the course of seasons to come. And what is amazing about this metric is that it doesn’t just apply to baseball player performance ... it could grade baseball movies, best or worst games of the season, even ballpark foods.

Nifty, eh?

Now, this midseason story will be broadened after the final out for the 2022 White Sox, in ways we’ll not yet reveal. But as a test run, we’re presenting this report card for you. From best to worst, we graded all the key components of the 46-46 2022 Chicago White Sox.

Feel free to chime in with feedback, and your take on our WARsss measures, in the comments.

Dylan Cease, RHSP 5.3 WARsss

Nobody claimed Cease. I guess we just expect that he’s fixed and great and someone to take for granted now: If he doesn’t strike out double-digits and keep hits in the low singles, PANIC! Dylan could still be more efficient, but he’s a strikeout pitcher. I bet Nolan Ryan isn’t boosted, either. — Year of the Hamster

Johnny Cueto, RHSP 5.3 WARsss

Thank god that Cueto was so good that the team decided that Keuchel could go. — Dante Jones

While everyone has made a pretty good argument that new Sox ace Dylan Cease should have been an All-Star, Cueto has been the team’s most consistent pitcher, and you could even argue Cueto has been the team’s first half MVP. — Nello Rubio

José Abreu, 1B 4.8 WARsss

In his ninth season and as one of the veteran leaders of the White Sox, Abreu despite a slow start has been one of the team’s most consistent performers both with his bat and glove. Abreu continues to be among the top first basemen in the AL. It’s somewhat surprising that Abreu also was not selected to his fourth All-Star team. — Nello Rubio

Reynaldo López, RHRP 4.7 WARsss

López went from struggling as a starter to completely turning things around and rejuvenating his career when he became a reliever last year, and that has continued into this season. López’s strikeout rate is 12th among AL relievers and his wins and innings pitched crack the Top 5 and 10. — Nello Rubio

Liam Hendriks, RHRP 4.0 WARsss

He’s a hero on this club, beyond his on-field excellence. — Year of the Hamster

His protests smack a bit of doth too much, but you have to appreciate Hendriks taking the (Keuchel) clubhouse call-out controversy head-on. Would love to be a fly on the wall if those two ever sit down for pops at the same pub. — Brett Ballantini

Michael Kopech, 3.9 WARsss

Nobody’s writing on Kopech, the flow hero of the staff? He has been better, and if we’re honest MUCH better, than anyone had reason to expect. But the second half scares me; fatigue and/or staggered starts loom. And, not sure if this has been covered before, but there is nothing in the system to absorb any time Kopech will need off. — Brett Ballantini

Davis Martin, RHSP 3.6 WARsss

If you thought Davis Martin, starting out in Double-A this season, would contribute at all on the South Side, you’re a liar. — Darren Black

Tim Anderson, SS 3.5 WARsss

TA is an exceptional hitter. He has been for the last four years. If he isn’t going to walk more or hit for more power, he absolutely has to do the little things. Horrible defense and major base-running lapses have been too common this year. The Sox go as he goes; he needs to step up and lead the way. — Trevor Lines

Seby Zavala, C 3.5 WARsss

Go figure — the guy loses the catching job in Charlotte to Carlos Pérez, then gets called up (?) to play backup catcher (??), gets a ton of reps (???) and mashes hell outta the ball (???). To the point where some folks think he’s more valuable that Yasmani Grandal (!!!!). The success story of the first half. — Brett Ballantini

Luis Robert, CF 3.4 WARsss

The pattern of Luis Robert looking like a superstar for a handful of games before looking really bad on both sides of the ball for a stretch is very frustrating. — Luke Smailes

Lenyn Sosa, 2B 3.3 WARsss

If you thought Lenyn Sosa, starting out in Double-A this season, would contribute at all on the South Side, you’re a liar. — Darren Black

Andrew Vaughn, RF 3.2 WARsss

Danny Mendick, IF 3.1 WARsss

Tanner Banks, LHRP 3.1 WARsss

Jake Burger, 3B 3.0 WARsss

Kendall Graveman, RHRP 2.7 WARsss

Kyle Crick, RHRP 2.2 WARsss

Matt Foster, RHRP 2.0 WARsss

If it’s an even year, Matt Foster comes amped. See you in 2024, Matt. — Brett Ballantini

Jimmy Lambert, RHRP 1.9 WARsss

Jimmy Lambert is in his third season in the majors, and his low ERA isn’t going to paper over his terrible peripherals for long. His K rate is less than 20%, BB rate more than 10%, and at 27 years old he should be a more polished product than he’s showing. — Trooper Galactus

Aaron Bummer, LHRP 1.9 WARsss

Aaron Bummer is my guy, but pre-injury, his sinker wasn’t sinking as much as usual, he spent the first month pitching like he was deathly afraid of contact, and he has been MIA for weeks, with radio silence from the team. The Sox need him back and dominating ASAP. — Trevor Lines

Ethan Katz, P coach 1.8 WARsss

How can anybody on this coaching staff get more than a zero? Well, at least Katz can still point to some successes among the pitchers, despite isolated struggles. — Trooper Galactus

Gotta give Katz credit where it’s due for pitching carrying the team so far this season, when I expected the bats to be our saving grace. — Dante Jones

José Ruiz, RHRP 1.5 WARsss

Adam Engel, OF 1.4 WARsss

Reese McGuire, C 1.4 WARsss

Josh Harrison, 2B 1.2 WARsss

I’m the low man on Harrison. While he’s improved significantly, he spent nearly two months as a dead spot on the roster. He needs to get as hot as he was pre-trade in 2021 for my opinion of his signing to turn into a net positive. — Trooper Galactus

Lucas Giolito, RHSP 1.2 WARsss

After what we heard out of Gio this offseason, I was excited to see the velo up a tick or two, helping his other pitches play up. Instead, it has been down to the point where hitters don’t have to respect it and can sit off-speed. He has been better his last few times out; Sox need a big second half out of him. — Trevor Lines

Gavin Sheets, OF 0.3 WARsss

AJ Pollock, OF -0.1 WARsss

Yoán Moncada, 3B -0.2 WARsss

I’ve been among Yoán’s most vocal defenders, and providing he can stay out of negative WAR he’s still essentially already paid off his contract extension in value, but if we’re just hoping core players break even with surplus value of contract extensions, the contention window is going to turn into a retention wall right quick. — Brett Ballantini

Lance Lynn, RHSP -0.3 WARsss

The diamond is strewn with pitchers who thought they could Bartolo Colón their way to age 45. — Year of the Hamster

Vince Velasquez, RHRP -0.6 WARsss

A guaranteed major league contract. Seriously. — Brett Ballantini

Eloy Jiménez, LF -0.6 WARsss

Eloy barely played before getting hurt and was awful, and hasn’t exactly turned the tide in his return. His prolonged absences due to health are bad enough, but if his body is present but his bat isn’t, that’s just a huge net negative on a team already riddled with them. He needs to be a major contributor offensively or he is just more dead weight. — Trooper Galactus

Bennett Sousa, LHRP -1.1 WARsss

Ryan Burr, RHRP -1.2 WARsss

Add a couple of negative WARsss for trashing the organization that’s still paying your bills in rehab after you’ve been (understandably) released. — Year of the Hamster

Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN -1.2 WARsss

Jerry put up $180+ million for the payroll, so despite no major contracts in the offseason, still have to give him some credit for spending this season. — Trooper Galactus

Anderson Severino, LHRP -1.3 WARsss

I’d prefer not to remember that Severino exists. Thankfully he was demoted before the weather warmed up, because he’s been getting shelled in Triple-A. — Trooper Galactus

Rick Hahn, GM -1.4 WARsss

Hahn only avoids a worse fate because Kendall Graveman has been a decent signing and his Hail Mary to get Cueto is working out beyond anybody’s wildest dreams, but he killed most of that goodwill with net negatives elsewhere. — Trooper Galactus

Cry all you want about Shields-Tatís, but failing to extend a QO to Carlos Rodón is the dumbest unforced error Hahn’s ever made, and it is one of the dumbest decisions in the 120 years of White Sox front offices. It’s Boston forgetting to send Carlton Fisk his auto-renewed contract dumb. — Brett Ballantini

Joe Kelly, RHRP -1.4 WARsss
I questioned Joe Kelly’s signing as an overpay given he was brought in with KNOWN arm issues, and the results are bearing that out. While we’ve seen a few outings where he shows what he’s capable of, there just hasn’t been enough of that to be useful, much less to justify giving him $19 million. — Trooper Galactus

As I write this, Joe Kelly’s BABIP is .452. His ERA is in the 8s, but his FIP sits at 3.72. He hasn’t pitched to his contract yet, but I’m not ready to abandon ship over fewer than 20 innings. The stuff is lethal when he’s on, and I want to see more. — Luke Smailes

Leury García, IF-OF -1.6 WARsss

Joe McEwing, 3B/IF coach -1.7 WARsss

McEwing is practically the second coming of Wendell Kim. — Trooper Galactus

Adam Haseley, OF -1.7 WARsss

Haseley’s been bad on offense, not great on defense, and the less I see of him the better. — Trooper Galactus

Frank Menechino, BAT coach -1.8 WARsss

Hitters show no ability to grow or adjust until they spend a few weeks AWAY from Frank Menechino. — Trooper Galactus

Yasmani Grandal, C -2.1 WARsss

Anyone else remember when 2022 preseason PECOTA said Yaz was not only the best catcher in baseball, but like the fifth-best hitter in baseball? I wonder if we’re ever going to get the real story, IF there’s more to the story, about Yaz breaking down these past two years. — Brett Ballantini

Daryl Boston, 1B/OF coach -2.7 WARsss

Beyond being a shitbag, Boston presides over some of the worst outfield defense in the league. — Trooper Galactus

Tony La Russa, MGR -2.8 WARsss

La Russa is managing them right out of contention. — Trooper Galactus

La Russa’s 2022 mWAR is 1.8, but it’s been falling as the season goes on. Last year: -4.1 — Brett Ballantini

Dallas Keuchel, LHSP -3.3 WARsss

Nobody wants to kick this guy when he’s down? It’s amazing to thing that for about the first 10 starts of his White Sox career, he was a dude. That went south, so fast. — Year of the Hamster