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.
It was another week with the same old story — the White Sox go 2-5 on their latest homestand. With 12 games left, a 100-loss season looks like a sure thing, and honestly, it can't end soon enough. It's been an exhausting two years. We're all tired of lifeless, lousy baseball.
Despite all the bad, I will do my best in these last few summaries to identify some good, especially highlighting our prospects. They deserve it! And there’s always Liam Hendriks to talk about. So, here you go. Enjoy.
The Recaps Worth Revisiting
Tuesday, September 12: White Sox 6, Royals 2 (Game 1)
The week started off well. Dylan Cease had a solid outing, giving up only one run on four hits and one walk, and struck out eight over 5 1⁄3 innings. We thought we would see this type of outing from Cease all season. The regression he's experienced has been shocking. Repeating what he did in 2022 was unlikely, of course, but falling off the table as he has is alarming for next season. What can we expect? Can he be depended on to anchor the top of the rotation? Cease is one of so many question marks heading into 2024.
The offense did its job going 4-for-10 with RISP and manufacturing all six runs. Tim Anderson went 2-for-3 with a walk from the leadoff spot, and Elvis Andrus went 2-for-4, including a big, one-out single that put Chicago ahead, 6-1.
Gregory Santos earned his fifth save, as he pitched 1 1⁄3 to finish out the game.
Saturday, September 16: White Sox 7, Twins 6
The Sox REALLY tried to lose this one, but despite their best efforts they escaped with a win. Homers by Eloy Jiménez and Gavin Sheets powered the offense, accounting for five of the seven Sox runs. Touki Toussaint continued to try to make his case for a starting rotation spot in 2024 by surrendering only one run on three hits and one walk while striking out eight over five innings. For once, Pedro Grifol actually took one of his starters out before they imploded. Now, the bullpen, on the other hand, was disastrous. Santos couldn't figure things out and gave up three earned on two hits and two walks in the eighth inning. Lane Ramsey followed up in the ninth by surrendering one run on two hits — but Tanner Banks came on to save the day and get the final two outs for his first save.
The Defensive Disport of the Week
A Catcher Who Can Throw
It's refreshing to watch a catcher who can actually throw a runner out! Korey Lee has been absolutely dreadful at the plate, but he has nabbed six runners. On Sunday, he nailed Andrew Stevenson at second in the top of the ninth. Lee is likely not the answer to the Pale Hose catching woes, but at least it's not an automatic steal for every opposing runner for the rest of 2023.
The Week's Top Three Biggest BLASTS
Elvis Andrus, 419 feet, Friday, September 15
Elvis smacked his sixth dinger to left-center field in the bottom of the fifth for Chicago's only two runs of the night.
Eloy Jiménez, 411 feet, Saturday, September 16
In the bottom of the first, Eloy kicked off the scoring with his 17th bomb of the season to left-center field, pushing the Good Guys ahead, 2-1.
Eloy Jiménez, 397 feet, Tuesday, September 12
Eloy launched a round-tripper in the bottom of the fifth. Despite scoring 10 runs, it just wasn't enough, as the Sox lost 11-10 to the Royals.
The White Sox selected Brooks Baldwin in Round 12 (No. 371) of the 2022 MLB Draft. The 23-year-old had played four successful seasons at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, slashing .298/.348/.502. with a .849 OPS. He also won the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year award in 2022.
MLB slotted him at No. 30 in the system for their midseason update, and entering the season we had him at No. 75 in our South Side Sox preseason rankings. The switch-hitting infielder is exceptionally versatile, as he's played every position except pitcher and catcher in his first two professional seasons. He struggled a bit last year in his debut in the ACL and at Kannapolis but has performed well in 2023 for the Cannon Ballers and the Dash, hitting .269/.349/.460 with a .809 OPS. He also possesses a bit of speed, as he swiped 22 bags this season. Baldwin's positional flexibility, skills, and instincts should work in his favor, helping him to cascade throughout the system.
Other Tasty Tidbits
Liam and Kristi Hendriks hosted a tailgate for White Sox fans in Lot B of Guaranteed Rate Field before last Friday's game. The celebration coincided with Lymphoma Awareness Day. For a small donation of $20 to Be the Match, a nonprofit operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, fans enjoyed drinks, food, and music by DJ Pauly D.
Since being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in January, Liam and Kristi have been extremely involved with raising awareness and funds for cancer research. Liam has also met with cancer patients and survivors throughout the season, before home and away games.
The All-Star closer is currently recovering from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in August.
Running Down the Rehabbers
Garrett Crochet has made three pitching appearances since his rehab started on September 6: two for Double-A Birmingham and one for Triple-A Charlotte. During that time, he's looked great. The lefty has surrendered only one hit and no runs and struck out two in three innings. It's unclear if he'll return to the big league club in 2023. The Knights play their last game on September 24, so it's feasible that Crochet returns to Chicago for the season's final six games. He's been on the IL since June 20 with a sore shoulder.
The South Siders will head east for a six-game road trip. First up is a three-game set against the Washington Nationals. It will be the first time the two teams have seen each other this season, and the matchup is meaningless for both. The Nationals own the second-worst record in the NL (66-84) and are in last place in the NL East. So, it will be the battle of the bad vs. the really bad.
Then, a quick trip on a jet plane from D.C. to Beantown for a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox. It’s another set of insignificant games, as the BoSox are also waiting for the season's end. With a record of 74-76, they occupy last place in the AL East. If only they played in the AL Central, they'd still have playoff hopes, but alas, they do not. Earlier this week, they fired their chief baseball officer, Chaim Bloom. So there's always next year, Carmines. We feel your pain.
Will the White Sox embarrass themselves anymore this season?
This poll is closed
Of course, there’s always room for more
No: they’ve already hit rock bottom