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.
I have been writing these weekly recaps since week five, and it’s unbelievable that we’re already to week 22. There are three wins to recap this time, and that hasn’t happened since week 14. So it’s been two months since this team has been able to string together at least three wins. That demonstrates for you just how dreadful this season has been. As if you already didn’t know.
Of course, the week’s big news wasn’t the baseball on the field but the firing of long-time front office personnel Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn last Tuesday. Most fans were delighted not for two men losing their jobs but for change that was long necessary and WAY overdue. Any elation was short-lived, however, when Bob Nightengale dropped a report on Wednesday that the Sox looked doomed for another insular hire.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf cleans house, looks for successor, with Chris Getz expected to head baseball operations while bringing in Dayton Moore. https://t.co/53U1tOsHwJ— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 24, 2023
Chris Getz, a former player for Chicago, is currently the assistant general manager and the director of player development. The 39-year-old has been overseeing player development for seven seasons, which one could argue are some of the worst in franchise history. He also spent a couple of years in baseball ops for the Kansas City Royals. As a fan, why should I be excited or committed to another go-around from the same playbook?
The possibility of Dayton Moore joining the front office is equally as nauseating. Although he has no direct ties to the White Sox, he has a questionable reputation, and, you guessed it, he worked for the Kansas City Royals. It is entirely confusing what this team’s obsession is with emulating the Crowns. As an organization, they have a .475 W-L%, four pennants, and two world championships in 55 years. What is so amazing about that franchise, and what am I missing? Anyone with answers, feel free to let me know in the comments section.
The Recaps Worth Revisiting
Wednesday, August 23: White Sox 5, Mariners 4
Seattle definitely should have won this game as they had plenty of baserunners between eight hits, seven walks, and three hit batsmen. On the other hand, the Sox struck out 17 times and, of course, had no walks, but with some luck on their side, they found a way to win only their fifth extra-inning game all season.
In the bottom of the third, the Good Guys scored first when Carlos Pérez doubled, and Tim Anderson drove him in on a single. The bats were quiet until the bottom of the sixth when Oscar Colás singled with two outs, and Trayce Thompson followed with a homer to left-center field.
The Pale Hose took a 3-1 lead into the ninth, which Gregory Santos promptly blew. With one out, the M’s offense came to life on consecutive singles by Josh Rojas and Cal Raleigh. After a walk to J.P. Crawford, Santos pegged Julio Rodríguez with a pitch, scoring Rojas. Eugenio Suárez followed with a single that scored two more, giving the Mariners a 4-3 lead.
In the Sox half of the ninth, Colás led off with a double. After a strikeout by Thompson, Andrew Benintendi singled Oscar home to tie the game 4-4. Sammy Peralta shut down Seattle in the 10th, giving Chicago a chance to walk off, which is surprisingly what they did. With Tim Anderson on second base, Elvis Andrus poked his bat like he was going to bunt. The pitch was a ball outside the zone, and Cal Raleigh thought he caught Anderson leaning too far off second, so he threw over to Crawford, who beaned Anderson in the helmet on the throw to third. The errant throw allowed TA to coast home for the W.
Michael Kopech was pitching really well, giving up only one hit and no runs until the heat got to him, and he left with cramps in the fifth inning. Brian Shaw came out for two shutout innings, and Aaron Bummer gave up one run in the seventh. Santos blew the save in the ninth, and Peralta earned the win.
Saturday, August 26: White Sox 6, A’s 2
Touki Toussaint had his best start since coming to the Sox. He went five innings, surrendering two hits, three walks, and no runs with four strikeouts and one hit batsman. The bullpen of Shaw, Jimmy Lambert, Peralta, and Bummer kept things clean except for two unearned runs in the eighth.
The Sox offense manufactured a run in the bottom of the first when Eloy Jiménez singled Luis Robert Jr. home after he doubled. Round-trippers by Lenyn Sosa, Yoán Moncada, and Benintendi generated the rest of the tallies.
Sunday, August 27: White Sox 6, A’s 1
This was a nice, straightforward all-around win for the South Siders. It was a game with solid pitching, clean defense, and potent offense. I’ve seen so few of these games this season, and it was genuinely refreshing.
Sox pitching held the A’s to only two hits, three walks, and one run while they struck out 13. The starter went seven innings, with Lane Ramsey and Tanner Banks finishing it up. The offense manufactured all six runs today without the benefit of a single home run. All the starters had at least one hit except for Eloy, who did have one walk. Additionally, the batters were effective with RISP going 5-for-14. I was almost excited about the play on the field until I remembered it was against the A’s. I guess we’ve got to take what we can get.
The Defensive Disport of the Week
La Pantera’s Thievery
Luis Robert continues to prey on baseballs hit into the outfield. This week, he drove up his bid for a Gold Glove with two incredible plays. Robert now has nine defensive runs saved, the second-best for American League Gold Glove-qualified center fielders behind Kevin Kiermaier’s 14.
Although the Sox were already losing 7-1 on Aug. 21, Luis made a dazzling grab in the fifth inning to rob Mike Ford of a solo shot.
On Aug. 24, La Pantera was at it again. Unfortunately, it was another terrific play in a White Sox loss. This time, in the top of the fourth, Robert grabbed a Brent Rooker 106.3 mph flyout, robbing him of a two-run blast.
The Week’s Top Three Biggest BLASTS
Luis Robert Jr., 444 feet, Thursday, August 24
La Pantera hit his 34th long ball of the season DEEP to center field. The two-run jack gave the Good Guys a very brief 5-3 lead that was wiped away a half-inning later.
Eloy Jiménez , 434 feet, Friday, August 25
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Eloy smashed his 15th four-bagger to left field.
Yoán Moncada, 409 feet, Saturday, August 26
Moncada has been on a run as of late. He’s slashing .321/.333/.536 over his last 15 games. Here he launched his fifth home run to increase the lead to 5-0.
The White Sox signed pitcher Peyton Pallette with pick No. 62 in Round 2 of the 2022 MLB Draft out of the University of Arkansas. Once regarded as one of the best college arms in the 2022 draft, projections for the righthander dropped after he underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2022 college baseball season. MLB recently ranked him as the No. 12 prospect in the Sox system.
The 22-year-old started the season with the Single-A Kannapolis Cannon Ballers after spending 2022 rehabbing from TJS. The Sox also utilized the Developmental List several times this season to help manage Pallette’s workload as he returns from the surgery. In 19 starts, he owns a 3.94 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 64 innings. He has an outstanding 9.98 K/9 and a solid .213 opponent batting average, but as with so many South Side pitchers, he struggles with the free passes, owning a 4.78 BB/9.
Pallette has a powerful, quick-arm delivery with a three-pitch mix. His fastball sits around 93-95 mph, and the changeup is in the upper 80s. As well, his curveball has an excellent break and a high spin rate. If he can stay healthy, continue to work on developing command, and lower his walks, he could find himself as a mid-rotation arm in the big leagues.
Other Tasty Tidbits
This week, the White Sox released a new documentary entitled Fitted in Black, highlighting the team’s 1991 rebrand and its relationship with hip-hop and pop culture.
The rebrand coincided with the arrival of an exciting group of young players, including Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, and Jack McDowell, who played with passion, excitement, and hustle.
The short film examines the development behind the rebrand and how it became one of the top-selling apparel of its time.
The club called up catcher Korey Lee from Triple-A Charlotte on Aug. 24. The Sox acquired Lee from the Houston Astros in the trade for Kendall Graveman. The 25-year-old played in three games last week and went 1-for-10 with two walks and three strikeouts. He threw out one baserunner but also had a passed ball.
Running Down the Rehabbers
No one was added to the IL this week, although Michael Kopech did exit the game on Aug. 23 with leg cramps. The team expects him to make his next start on Monday against the Orioles.
After a seven-game home stretch, the Good Guys head off to Maryland to play the Orioles for a three-game set. Baltimore currently sits on top of the AL East, ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays by two games. With an overall record of 81-49, they’re one of the surprise teams in the league this season. While they were expected to be significantly better than last year, not many predicted they’d be 32 games over .500 at this point. They’ve been playing well lately, going 16-7 on the month. The clubs last saw each other in April when the O’s took two of three from the Sox in Chicago.
It will be a short trip for the Pale Hose as they’ll return home to play three against the pesky Detroit Tigers. It’s shocking to see them in third place in the AL Central, ahead of the Good Guys in the standings by eight games. The Motor City Kitties have turned it on lately, playing .500 ball since the All-Star break. However, they’re 3-4 against the Sox this season. They come in with a record of 5-5 over their last 10 games. One of their young superstars, Riley Greene, is having another great year. The first round, No. 5 pick in the 2019 draft, made his professional debut on June 18, 2022. Despite a couple of IL stints this season, he’s slashing .292/.354/.460 with a .814 OPS.
How do you feel about the front office moves?
This poll is closed
Kenny & Rick were the problem; things will get better
Kenny & Rick were patsies; Jerry Reinsdorf is the real problem