Welcome to the SSS Summary — a little review of what happened this past week in Chicago White Sox baseball, including on-the-field play, the front office jibber-jabber, and everything in-between. Even if you don’t want to remember what happened, sorry, we will tell you anyway.
Last Monday, there was no White Sox baseball to review. But Lance Lynn’s wife, Dymin, started the week off right by throwing shade at broadcaster Steve Stone and posting a picture on Instagram of Lynn eating a delicious salad. Humor is truly the best medicine.
If you recall, Ken Williams assured us last week that if things didn’t get better, “Then changes have to be made; it’s as simple as that.” Well, kids, things didn’t get better, as the team lost three of its next four games after Williams went on his mopey rant. So, true to Ken’s word, the South Siders started off the week with a little shuffling of the deck chairs.
The biggest takeaways from the “big” moves here are the DFAing of Jake Diekman and returning Oscar Colás to Charlotte. Diekman was absolutely dreadful from the moment he put on the black-and-white pinstripes. He went 0-4 in 30 2⁄3 innings with a 7.04 ERA and 1.989 WHIP in 39 appearances over parts of two seasons with the Sox. To cement this as another Rick Hahn trade for the ages, I’ll tell you what Reese McGuire’s done since the swap with Boston for Diekman. McGuire is slashing .340/.378/.471 with a .849 OPS and a 133 OPS+ in 56 games. Who’s laughing now, Rick?
Then we have the two players that the front office just couldn’t stop talking about during the offseason, Romy González and Oscar Colás.
We didn’t need to sign a true second baseman because Rick told us, “I think there’s been nothing but rage about Romy González this offseason from the coaches that have worked with him. They even had a player who went down and came back and came in my office in the offseason and said, ‘Don’t you dare trade that guy.’” Well, THAT guy has a -0.9 WAR and is batting .139 with an OPS+ of -9. For reference, 100 is the league average. The dude isn’t even on the whole number line!
Now, I am going to defend Colás a bit here. The right fielder spent one year Stateside last season in the minor leagues, splitting most of the year between High-A and Double-A, ending up in Triple-A for only seven games. Not to mention he didn’t play professional baseball at all in 2020 (COVID-19) or 2021, when Colás waited a full year to join the next international class so that the White Sox could sign him to a $2.7 million bonus. He did look strong this spring, but then again, many players do. Once in the bigs, though, Colás often looked overmatched, and letting him spend some time in Charlotte should be suitable for his overall development. Colás has the tools and potential to be a solid major-league player; he just needs more time.
The Pale Hose played six contests last week, three at home against the first-place Minnesota Twins and three in Cincinnati versus the fourth-place Reds. In a breath of fresh air, the Sox went 4-6 during that span, experiencing their first winning week of the season. They still have an awful lot of ground to make up for their abhorrent performance in April, but it’s not technically impossible for the Sox to resuscitate the season. Let’s take a look at this week’s highlights.
The Recaps Worth Revisiting
Tuesday, May 2: White Sox 3, Twins 2
Michael Kopech had a stellar outing, going six innings and giving up only one run on one hit and seven strikeouts. With the South Siders ahead 2-1 heading into the eighth, our old friend Alex Colomé made his first appearance out of the pen and, of course, gave up the lead with a home run blast to Nick Gordon to tie the game. Never fear, though; Benny is here. Andrew Benintendi singled in Hanser Alberto for a walk-off White Sox extra-inning winner.
Wednesday, May 3: White Sox 6, Twins 4
Our ace, Dylan Cease, could have been better as the Twins roughed him up for four runs on five hits in five innings. Fortunately for Cease, the offense had his back. Eloy Jiménez, 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Luis Robert Jr., 1-for-4 with a three-run bomb, led the way. The usually crummy bullpen was the other hero of this contest, pitching four scoreless innings. Gregory Santos pulled some legitimate Houdini-like magic to get out of the seventh inning. I believe he channeled his inner El Duque.
Friday, May 5: White Sox 5, Reds 4
Lance Lynn finally got his first win of the season. He wasn’t spectacular, but he was good enough, and at this point, we’ll take good enough. The Big Bastard pitched 6 2⁄3 innings, surrendering four runs on eight hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts. Robert had himself another day, going 3-for-4 with another three-run homer that proved to be the game-winner. The bullpen put up zeros again, with Joe Kelly and Reynaldo López blanking the Reds to close it out.
Sunday, May 7: White Sox 17, Reds 4
The Good Guys went out on Sunday with a bang, lighting up the scoreboard! The offense scored like they were an NFL team, helping Michael Kopech earn his first W of the season. With 18 hits on the day, every starter, sans Seby Zavala, had a knock, and Andrew Vaughn was a home run short of the cycle. The Sox scored 11 runs in the second inning, which is the highest in franchise history. Hanser the Answer Alberto had the biggest day; he went 4-for-4 with a four-bagger and four RBIs.
The Standout Moment of the Week
He’s Back ...
The best thing we’ve seen all season happened this week, and it did not come from a game played by the White Sox: Liam Hendriks began his rehabilitation assignment this week with the Charlotte Knights. His first inning on the mound since beating stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma came on May 5. The South Side Slydah pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out one. His imminent return to the major league mound is now in sight, and it can’t come soon enough.
The Defensive Jem of the Week
Benny with the jets
Typically these highlights belong to Robert, but not this week. Benintendi used his superpower jets to jump and steal a home run away from Carlos Correa in the top of the first inning.
The Week’s Top Three Biggest Blasts
Luis Robert Jr., 420 feet, Wednesday, May 3
Robert’s sixth bomb of the season to deep left-center field gave the Sox an early 3-0 lead. Robert finally quenched his home run drought as he hit his last blast on April 11.
Luis Robert Jr., 418 feet, Friday, May 5
La Pantera’s bat was scorching this week. His seventh round-tripper was crushed to center field, scoring Eloy and giving the Sox a 5-4 lead that was all they needed to beat the Reds. Robert went 10-for-19 this week, raising his batting average to .260.
Gavin Sheets, 410 feet, Sunday, May 7
Shhhh. Don’t anyone tell Tony LaRussa that Sheets hit a three-run moon shot on a 3-0 count in the Sox routing of the Reds.
Other Important Tidbits
Both Garrett Crochet and Yoán Moncada are also out on rehab assignments. Crochet has had a rough start in AA with the Birmingham Barons, so fans calling to rush him back to the major league pen might need to back off a bit. In 3 1⁄3 innings, he has an ERA of 10.80, and he has surrendered four runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in three appearances. Giving Crochet as much time as he needs to return from Tommy John surgery is critical here, especially with the major league team playing so poorly. The Sox bullpen is still the second-worst in baseball with an ERA of 6.31, and hurrying Crochet back isn’t going to do much to change that fact. Not enough to justify expediting him back to be some 2023 season savior, anyway.
On the other hand, thankfully, Moncada is picking up right where he left off. In two games, he’s 4-for-5 with three singles, one home run, and three RBIs. It seems like Moncada is wearing the Queen City well. Moncada was slashing .308/.325/.564 with a 143 wRC+ prior to his injury. If he can come close to anything like that when he returns to Chicago, the lineup will be significantly improved, and hey, maybe even win a few more games.
Finally, unfortunately, the team will lose Eloy Jiménez for the next four to six weeks due to an appendectomy. We wish the Big Baby a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on the South Side again soon.
There’s no rest for the weary. The South Siders will play seven straight starting Monday night with a four-game series in Kansas City against the Royals. Then, it will be a bittersweet homecoming for José Abreu when he and the Houston Astros come to Guaranteed Rate Field for a three-game set to wrap up the week. If the Sox can somehow manage a miracle and win 5-of-7, it would still only put them at 17-25 overall and eight games under .500 on the season.
This team has a long way to go to even be considered mediocre. I’ll admit over the past week, at least, they’ve been slightly more fun to watch. Slightly.
It’s been a week since we last checked in, and the Sox have managed to win a few. What’s the vibe?
How are you feeling about the season so far?
This poll is closed
I’m slowly creeping out of the hole, and this past week has given me hope that we might get to .500.
I think it’s actually possible that we somehow make the playoffs.
This is probably one of the best weeks they’ll have all season and I think they’re still bad.