Wednesday, June 24, 2009

White Sox need Quality at-bats

Last night was yet another crappy display of offense by the White Sox, yet another night where some second-rate opposing pitcher gets nine strikeouts and looks like Cy Young.

I realize that the Sox are a young team and some guys are just plain struggling to get their bearings in the big leagues, but Brian Anderson is a disppointment. If he cannot hit big league pitching, then he needs to change something: his stance or approach, or something. He needs to concentrate on making contact, and maybe a bunt now and then can get him on base, especially with his speed. The same goes for Getz and Beckham; small ball could get some baserunners. Last night, we had only two baserunners (one was Konerko's home run) before the ninth inning and not one bunt attempt. Anderson stood there with his bat on his shoulder looking at strike three like he didn't even see the pitch.

Jim Thome is a tool. He is just there to hit as many home runs as he can before he's inducted into the Hall of Fame-- even when just a baserunner is needed for the team. Last night, he's up with a man on and the Sox are down three runs with Konerko, who had already hit a dinger earlier, on-deck. So what does Thome do? Instead of spraying one to left field --which is left uncovered-- to get on base, he swings for the fence... and strikes out. Tool. Heck, Mark Buerhle would make a better DH.

It's not just the outs, it's the quality of at-bats. Koruda, the Dodgers starter, had not had a win since opening day and last night he looked like he was ready for the All-Star game. The Sox had very few quality at-bats, swinging at crap and looking at strike three. If something is close, foul it off!

The fact that the White Sox are still in the hunt for the division is pure luck for being in the worst division in baseball. This is not a good team. Their pitching and fielding are mediocre (although the rookie Beckham is a pleasant addition and Anderson, as dismal as he is at the plate, is an excellent center fielder.)

My recommendation would be to unload all the dead weight before the trade deadline and concentrate on getting a younger team for the future. Maybe someone would want Thome, a National League team who might need a designated hitter for the World Series, or an American League team with a righty DH who could be platooned. Dye, as much as I like him, is a free agent at the end of the year, 35 years-old and still valuable for a trade. Contreras could help someone in a pennant race, even if it's from the bullpen. Play Anderson every day for the rest of the season and if he can't hit over .270, trade him in the off-season; keep Podsednik in right field after Dyes's gone and move him to center for next year.

I'll keep watching, but games like last night make my brain hurt.

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