Back up the Truck? Why?

It’s starting to happen.  After yesterday’s loss to Tampa Bay, White Sox fans took to blogs, social media, and (probably) talk radio to say it is time for Rick Hahn to start trading players for prospects.

Here’s the problem with “backing up the truck.”

The White Sox are going to get next to nothing.

The era of the massive blowout deadline deal is probably over.  Teams are a little more selective when it comes to their prospects, and they aren’t going to clean out their minor league system to rent a star for three months.

Second, the only White Sox player who will get any kind of return is Chris Sale…and he is untouchable.

Let’s say you don’t care about prospects, you just want to clear some expensive contracts off the books.  What team will actually pay money to Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Jake Peavy, and Alex Rios?

The answer?  Not a one.

If the Sox were to back up the truck, they would get low-to-mid tier prospects for Gavin Floyd.  Otherwise the White Sox will be paying money for players to have at-bats for other teams.

It doesn’t make sense, so they might as well continue with what they’ve got.

We’re less than a year into the administration of Rick Hahn, and he may take a different approach to prospects than his predecessor.  Kenny Williams was not above cleaning out the farm system to get what he wanted.  Four pitchers went to San Diego for the then-injured Jake Peavy.  Four top-tier prospects went to Oakland for Nick Swisher.

Hahn’s challenge is to keep the White Sox marginally interesting while reshaping the ballclub for the future.  This is a time of transition.  The window is open for the Detroit Tigers.  The White Sox need to transition out of the era of Paul Konerko and into the era of Chris Sale.  Sox fans have to wait for the expensive contracts to roll off of the books.  By that time, the fully-realized Rick Hahn team can take the field.

The White Sox have also been hit hard by the injury bug.  Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, Jeff Keppinger, and Gavin Floyd are on the DL.  One third of the team’s opening day roster is on the shelf.   The White Sox offense is performing like a team that is giving a lot of at-bats to Tyler Greene, Jordan Danks, and Dwayne Wise.  That should end as soon as Viciedo, Beckham, and Keppinger return to the lineup.

The good news?  Adam Dunn, Conor Gillaspie, and Jeff Keppinger are starting to swing the bat well.  All three had a very good week.

The bad news?  Alex Rios is starting to scuffle, and Paul Konerko is in a full-blown slump.   Tyler Flowers had 14 at bats in the past week…and he struck out in six of them.

And when the offense does put the ball in play?  The defense aligned perfectly.  In fact, The Hardball Times speculates on whether this is a trend throughout baseball.

“… advanced metrics are improving defensive positioning, and that hitters may not be adjusting to these changes. Other defensive metrics can also be used to highlight any of the above trends, but BABIP serves as a simple and easily understandable measure.”

It suggests the newfangled numbers that are the bane of Hawk Harrelson’s existence actually help managers save runs.

Yes it’s frustrating.  But right now, you have no choice but to ride it out.

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