White Sox Offseason Evaluations: Part 2
When a team makes as many offseason moves as the White Sox did this past winter, you’re going to see inconsistent play. After all, there’s always a learning curve when it comes to new guys on new teams in new leagues. While it doesn’t have the same effect as NBA teams, it nonetheless plays a role.
In part one of the White Sox’s offseason evaluations, I focused three big pitcher acquisitions. This week, I am going to look at another relief pitcher (who sadly sits on the 15-day DL) as well as two assumed boosts to the lineup.
The Sox needed desperate help in the bullpen. Besides Duke, they needed more help from the left side. As such, they went out and got Dan Jennings, another NL veteran, from the Miami Marlins.
Jennings started the season off right with a 2.31 ERA through 10 appearances. However, he hit a rough patch and before landing on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his neck, his ERA ballooned to a team-high 7.83. Despite his poor performance of late, Jennings, Duke and Robertson lead the relievers in terms of innings pitched, so extra help will have to come from somewhere else.
In his spot, the Sox recalled 30-year-old right-hander Junior Guerra. He has no major-league experience.
As soon as the Sox parted ways with Dayan Viciedo, a big gap was remained in left field. They didn’t waste much time. Days after signing Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson, Rick Hahn went out and grabbed switch-hitter Melky Cabrera.
Cabrera started off strong (especially when compared to other hitters in the lineup) but has since tapered off quite a bit. After posting a .276 batting average in April, he finished May with .220 and as of June 8, is hitting under .100 in June. While he is getting old, his current numbers are below his career averages.
Last season, Cabrera batted .301 with 81 runs scored in 139 games for the Toronto Blue Jays. He smacked 16 home runs and collected 73 RBIs.
In what has be the biggest bust thus far, Adam LaRoche has simply not turned out as planned (thus far). While he has had a few highlights, including a game-tying 9th inning home run against the Detroit Tigers earlier this month, the season has not gone as planned for the $25MM acquisition.
Once Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn retired, the Sox knew they needed extra power. After all, Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu can’t carry the entire load. Sadly, they have not gotten it thus far from LaRoche.
After hitting just .191 in April with a .286 OBP and .353 SLG, LaRoche picked it up a little in May, slashing out .270/.420/.427.
If he wants to start showing a return on investment, LaRoche better improve his home run and RBI totals.