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Royals series preview: Chicago White Sox

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Previews be getting weird.

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s think about the White Sox for a moment. Conjure an image of a player from that team. Pick any moment in the franchise’s history. Maybe you chose Frank Thomas. Maybe it was Paul Konerko. Jim Thome? Harold Baines? Ross Gload? Ozzie Guillen? Chrissy Sale? Josh Fields? Jack McDowell? Ron “The Kark” Karkovice?

Now, think about whoever popped into your head. Look him up and down. Was he wearing white hosiery?

Unless you thought of Lamarr Hoyt or one of those guys playing in shorts or those throwback uniforms Chris Sale hated so much he shredded, probably not.

If you’re going to have a lame team name, at least have the wherewithal to actually have it mean something. You’ve chosen an item of clothing in your team name. With the exception of a picture of Jack McDowell in a throwback uniform—in which said hose looked terrible—no prominently placed Google images for any Pale Hose turned up pale hose.

Hey, we’re the White Sox—

. . .

What?

. . .

No. We don’t wear—

. . .

Yeah, I know. It’s kinda dumb. But have you seen baseball players wearing white socks? That looks stupider than our name.

Get your house in order, Chicago.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Friday, August 11, 7:10 PM CDT - Danny Duffy (L) versus Reynaldo López
  • Saturday, August 12, 6:10 PM CDT - Ian Kennedy versus James Shields
  • Sunday, August 13, 1:10 PM CDT - Jason Vargas (L) versus Derek Holland (L)

Royals at White Sox pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Danny Duffy (L) 18 113.2 93 19.8 31 6.6 3.48 3.57 4.61 4.49 2.5 2.9
Reynaldo López 22 121.0 131 25.4 49 9.5 3.79 4.17 3.85 - - -
Ian Kennedy 20 113.2 97 20.5 46 9.7 4.83 5.01 5.10 4.80 0.5 0.9
James Shields 12 62.2 50 17.2 31 10.7 6.03 6.69 6.03 5.40 -0.6 -0.5
Jason Vargas (L) 22 129.2 95 17.6 37 6.9 3.40 4.30 4.86 4.77 1.7 3.7
Derek Holland (L) 23 118.1 90 16.9 58 10.9 5.25 6.12 5.52 5.35 -0.4 -0.4

*Italicized stats accrued at AAA - Charlotte in the International League.

Reynaldo López will be making his first start at the major-league level since his trade to Chicago in the offseason deal that sent Adam Eaton packing to Washington and brought López and Lucas Giolito to the South Side. With 44 days of ML service time accrued last season in Washington, it seems likely that the call-up coincides with the likely service-time threshold having been passed for López to be a Super-Two, delaying arbitration by a year. López is one of the games best pitching prospects with a blazing fastball and plus-curve, though scouting reports indicate that his changeup still has some catching up to do. After an underwhelming 2016 that saw him take steps back across the board upon reaching the highest two levels of professional ball, López got his groove back this year in Charlotte.

Also pitching in this series: James Shields and Derek Holland. [Read: the author does not want to spill ink talking about either of these two players.]

Chicago White Sox position players

Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Avisaíl García RF 372 13 48 55 5 .302 .347 .483 .352 120 2.3 2.7
José Abreu 1B 479 19 63 68 1 .289 .344 .503 .357 123 2.0 2.1
Leury García (S) LF/CF 243 7 34 27 8 .286 .338 .445 .335 108 1.7 1.9
Yolmer Sánchez (S) IF 349 5 39 29 4 .259 .312 .385 .300 84 0.9 1.2
Omar Narvaez (L) C 202 1 17 11 0 .260 .345 .305 .295 81 0.7 0.2
Nick Delmonico (L) OF 33 1 6 5 0 .400 .455 .533 .426 170 0.3 0.2
Yoan Moncada (S) 2B 71 1 6 7 0 .196 .366 .321 .318 96 0.3 0.3
Kevan Smith C 190 3 15 20 0 .277 .309 .379 .297 82 0.1 0.0
Alen Hanson (S) Util 94 2 16 7 3 .259 .298 .376 .288 76 -0.1 -0.2
Adam Engel CF 166 3 21 10 5 .204 .278 .313 .263 59 -0.1 0.2
Tyler Saladino 3B 188 0 16 6 3 .204 .285 .263 .250 50 -0.5 -0.4
Tim Anderson SS 411 11 42 35 6 .242 .262 .375 .271 64 -0.7 0.2

To invoke Phil Collins, ...But Seriously it’s a really dumb name, right? White socks look bad. There’s no getting around that. Then, in addition to the offense to fashion, they don’t even wear them. They might as well be the Chicago Merkins. They could coax Merkin Valdéz out of retirement to be their mascot. No one would see them wearing their merkins either. Argumentatively speaking, no difference. The team is just as likely to wear merkins as they are to wear white socks.

The only good thing about the name is that it can be misspelled in innumerable ways (not literally innumerable, but whatever) much to the sophomoric delight of this author.

Poll

How will the Royals fare at Guaranteed Rate Field?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Royals sweep
    (40 votes)
  • 34%
    Royals take two of three
    (54 votes)
  • 15%
    White Sox (dumb name) take two of three
    (25 votes)
  • 24%
    White Stockings sweep
    (39 votes)
158 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Wednesday, August 9 .

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