Jeff Keppinger: Solid, Steady, Soporific!

Jeff Keppinger: Solid, Steady, Soporific!

Jeff Keppinger. So that is the big move from the winter meetings? It isn’t a bad move by any stretch, but it isn’t exactly a blockbuster. I compared it to the Mark Teahen pick up of a few years ago. Keppinger is a superior player to Teahen, no doubt, but not by a margin that makes me feel any more excited. Like the Teahen acquisition, Keppinger is a stop-gap, a hope that he will succeed, or at least not suck as bad as the previous tenants at third base. Kevin Youkilis performed that role last year after the reality of Brent Morel set in, but at $12 million Youk isn’t worth it, especially if a team is on a budget.
I hope Keppinger is going to be solid at third base for his whole contract, but it isn’t like there is a great prospect in the minors that will be challenging him for a job anytime soon. According to John Sickles, in the White Sox top 20 prospects, only two are infielders and neither is a third baseman. So if Keppinger comes in and stinks, the White Sox are stuck with him.
I’ll be honest though, a signing like this is like watching a well-executed bounce pass in basketball. I’m glad when my team does that well, but I don’t root for bounce passes. I want to see dunks. This is not a dunk. I’m confident that this move makes the team better overall, but does it get them any closer to catching the Tigers? Not really. Last year the team philosophy seems to be, “Hopefully it will be better!” And by and large it was; Adam played better, Alex Rios played better, the pitching was solid and Dayan Viciedo was a pleasant surprise. So far this off-season the philosophy is much the same; “2013: Here’s Hoping!” Here’s hoping Dunn plays well again, Rios plays well again, Jake Peavy stays healthy and Chris Sale’s arm doesn’t explode. Somehow I don’t think that will be part of the marketing campaign, but it is the undertone for sure.
Of course, it’s only December 8 and a lot can happen between now and opening day. The White Sox have in the past made a big announcement or two before or during Sox Fest in an attempt to energize the fans. Every once in a while during the spring of the Kenny Williams era a big move was made as well, so a surprise or two could be in store for the south side and their fans. Something that will get us excited and really feel like the team has gained ground on the Tigers, something that makes one happy to be Sox fan. Here’s hoping.

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