Looking On The Bright Side
Boy, was that ever a ridiculous way to lose a ballgame tonight! In light of this latest fiasco, I thought that it would be good to point out the positives that may come out of 2013, even if this team doesn't ever get it going this year.
1. Conor Gillaspie.
The Sox acquired him for very little and Gillaspie shows a ton of promise. He is good left-handed hitter, fields well and is only 25. Gillaspie could be a White Sox mainstay at third base for years to come.
2. The Bullpen.
The Sox young bullpen is a little taxes right now, as the Sox are not scoring any runs and are losing all these close games. But Reed, Jones, Veal, Crain, Lindstrom and Santiago form the core of an excellent pen now and in the foreseeable future.
3. Keystone Combination.
Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham were hitting at the start of the year and are an excellent pair of fielders at SS and 2B. They give the Sox something to build around.
4. Starting Pitching.
The starting pitching has been pretty good this year. Once John Danks builds up his arm strength and can return to pitching, the Sox will have a legitimate "Big Three" in Danks, Chris Sale and Jake Peavy. That is also something to build around. And the Sox have other starters to build around: Jose Quinatana, possibly Hector Santiago and a sleeper might be Erik Johnson at AA. The Sox starting should be a strength in the next few years.
5. Some Help Is Down The Road (Hopefully).
The Sox 2012 draft had some promise. Courtney Hawkins was a real strong draft choice and some other picks from that draft may make some noise. Let's hope that the 2013 draft brings some decent prospects.
As for the rest of 2013 offense, this is where is starts to get tricky.
I don't think Tyler Flowers is anything more than a back-up catcher. But the Sox felt they needed to play him to find out what he can do. I don't see him ever hitting much, so they will need to address this in the offseason. Fortunately, there are some free agent options oout there: Brian McCann and Jarrold Saltalamachia, most prominently.
The Sox have two outfielders with offensive skills: Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios. I would be OK with the Sox keeping both, including Rios despite his salary, and building around them. And Viciedo will be eventually become a DH.
You have to wonder if Alejandro de Aza is really anything more than a fourth outfielder on a good club. Maybe not. Unless Keenyn Walker lights it up in the minors this year (and he has not done so, yet), the Sox may need to look for a center fielder soon.
The Sox are pretty much stuck with Adam Dunn right now. But look on the bright side. He is a strong hot streak away from at least being tempting to some other club via trade. Hope he does get hot and bring the Sox some much needed prospects.
I really can't see the Sox bringing back Paul Konerko right now. As mid-season nears, the Sox should move him to a contender (preferably in the National League) and get back a legitimate offensive prospect or two. I would hate to see him go but unless the Sox get things untracked by June or so, I think that is where this is heading. And if the Sox are mirred in the second division, it would be fitting to give a great ballplayer and the face of this franchise the past 15 years a chance to go to a World Series. One possibility off the top of my head: the Washington Nationals. And they have some legitimate prospects.
I almost forgot Jeff Keppinger. He is better than he has played but wouldn't really have a spot on the Sox if they rebuild. He is starting to hit the ball harder. I am confident that he will get it going and he would help a contender, too. Once again, maybe the Sox can get some value in a trade.
Last edited by cards press box; 04-23-2013 at 12:38 AM.