We are halfway through Year 2 of the rebuild...

What do we know?

Jose Abreu is in the midst of a slump that has lasted well past a month.  His career batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage line is .295/.352/.514.  In 2018, the line is an unAbreu-like .253/.311/.441.  What does this mean?  Whether it’s the old Rick Hahn ‘leadership’ line or not wanting to move him while his trade value is stagnating, Abreu will be a White Sox to the end of this season.

Yoan Moncada lets more hittable pitches go by than any other current hitter I can name, which includes my son’s Babe Ruth team.  Also, you can’t be a five tool infielder without soft hands.

If you want a personification of the stubbornness of the White Sox brain trust, it comes in the form of Tim Anderson.  Every game, White Sox fans watch a left fielder play shortstop.

Yolmer Sanchez is an overachiever that any real baseball fan would root for.  However, it is clear he is a backup infielder, not a starting third baseman on a contending ball club.  With that said, I hope he’s a back up infielder on the next White Sox team with a winning record.  He is ultra likable.

The Sox have obviously decided Matt Davidson isn’t a third baseman, and I suppose the Sox brass is wondering who will be the primary designated hitter to finish the year, Davidson or Daniel Palka?

Charlie Tilson’s 2018 line: .264/.331/.292 (it’s really odd when the slugging percentage is below the on base percentage) with 0 home runs and 11 runs batted in in 121 plate appearances.  Adam Engel’s 2018 line:  .218/.272/.302 with 2 home runs and 18 runs batted in in 274 plate appearances. Tilson plays good defense, and Engel plays very good defense.  Clearly, neither outfielder will be a starter for the Sox when they start winning consistently.  Is either a fourth outfielder on a contender?  Discuss.

I love the way Avi Garcia hustles.  I love how openly he enjoys the game.  That being said, his trade value was at its apex in the offseason prior to the 2018 season. Maybe Hahn kept him because he thought there was an outside chance the Sox would contend in 2019, the last year of Garcia’s contract.  Now, he knows they won’t.  So what happens to Avi?

Wellington Castillo was supposed to keep the seat warm for Zack Collins.  Now Kevan Smith and Omar Narvaez are tasked with that obligation. I suppose Smith and Narvaez could be playing to see who will back up Castillo to start next season, while Castillo may bump the winner of the back up catcher spot when Collins arrives.

The rotation?  Carlos Rodon can’t stay healthy, he’s a free agent after the 2021 season, and he is represented by the subhuman known as Scott Boras.  Is it ridiculous to suggest he could be a trade chip, if not this season, perhaps next?

Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito have encountered their struggles this season, but they’ve also offered Sox fans glimmers of hope.  Where they settle in the rotation 1 through 5 once the Sox start winning is anybody’s guess. The injury bug has bitten so many Sox blue chippers that you wonder if there is enough pitching depth in the minor leagues.  Plus, Michael Kopech hasn’t been consistent, and a call up for him this season is in doubt. 

It is sad that I feel no inclination to mention Carson Fulmer and ‘White Sox future’ in the same sentence.

Between now and September 30th we will say good bye to James Shields. Ordinary people see the first name James and the last name Shields when this name is in print.  I see Fernando Tatis, Jr.  It’s an evil reflection that burns my eyes and sears my very soul. 

Things to look forward to in the second half, in descending order of importance:

3)  Trading Joakim Soria for some team’s 10thranked prospect

2)  Eloy Jimenez’s call up

1)  Chris Sale’s first Cy Young Award (sorry, I know it hurts)

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