Phil Rogers says something not too crazy about White Sox

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In what started as a coincidence but now may be a shameless effort to get page views, I've made a habit of ripping into everything Tribune baseball columnist Phil Rogers has to say about the White Sox.  Yes, everyone gets a good guffaw over the big newspaper guy getting raked over the coals, and yes it's been kind of easy.  Rogers is pitched as the Tribune's national baseball writer, and his comments on local teams have a national feel.  As in that he seems to come from abroad every few weeks, give the team a cursory glance, make a snap judgment, and depart once more.  This has led to nonsensical statements like how the Sox should get rid of Freddy Garcia (after one of his two disastrous starts), or how we should have never gotten rid of Juan Uribe (despite 3 consecutive down seasons).

Having returned again to give his stamp of approval to the White Sox
after their 11-game winning streak, Rogers still has some nutty things
to say like Alexei Ramirez is one of the best shortstops in the AL (I
hope he just means defensively), A.J. Pierzynski pulling his average up
to .240 is one of the top ten reasons the Sox are in contention, and
that Carlos Torres is a legitimate starting option behind the main
rotation.  Carlos is a hero for the 7 shutout innings he threw against
the Cubs last year, but he's 27, a late-round draft pick with
underwhelming stuff, and that was definitely his career highlight.

What I was really set to rip into Rogers for was his suggestion that the
upturn in Sox pitching sets them up well to deal their young talent for
a bat.  His suggestion?  Gavin Floyd or Daniel Hudson, packaged with
Sergio Santos and Dayan Viciedo for Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn.  With
all the trouble the Sox have gone through to move away from being a
plodding solo-homer team and toward a pitching and defense squad, this
seemed akin to developing a high-powered microscope, just for the
purpose of using it to bludgeon someone to death.  I joked on how with a
middle of the order of Fielder, Konerko, and Quentin, the Sox could go
back to innings where they hit 3 straight singles, and not score a run. 
I also positively blanched at the idea of trading Gavin Floyd, one of
the hottest pitchers in the American League.

Then I watched Monday night's display of offensive ineptitude, where
with the bases loaded, one out, and down two runs, Ozzie had to debate
between Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones for the biggest at bat of the
night.  That's wrong.  No manager should be placed in the position of
what useless past-their-prime stiff do I pick to lose this game for us. 
As much as I loved to watch the Gloyd at work, if the Sox were ever
going to trade him, this would be the time.  Gavin has always been
talented, but never the model of consistency.  Chances are that Gavin
will have more lean periods in his future, and if the Sox truly believe
Daniel Hudson is ready right now, then they should know that Gavin's
stock can't get much higher.  On the flip side, if the Sox are content
to make teams fear the Gloyd for the next 5-7 years, Hudson could simply
be dealt himself.  The razing of the farm system act is getting old,
but there's something to be said about proven commodities.

Both Fielder and Dunn have huge red flags however.  Dunn is 31, big,
slow, strikes out a ton, can't do anything but DH or play fairly bad 1st
base, and no team has ever won with him in the heart of their order. 
Fielder is 5 years younger, bad at first, slow, and currently having a
down year with his OPS around .150 less than the year before.  He could
obviously register as the heir apparent to Konerko, but the Sox saddling
themselves with another plodding slugger in the middle of the order
seems like the opposite of what they've been trying to do
organizationally for some time now.

In any case, the notion of the Sox being 'one bat short' gains credence
every day as the shuffle the equally unproductive Kotsay and Jones in
the DH spot.  Normally the strength of the lineup, the White Sox are
continually putting their worst hitter save for Gordon Beckham in the DH
slot, and getting nothing out of it.  Neither of them have had a RBI
since June 11th.  17 days!  The White Sox should be very hesitant to
tweak the pitching that got them here, but at a certain point it looks
like the hitting might reach a nadir that can't be ignored...even if it
means listening to Phil Rogers.

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  • Everyone assumes Prince Fielder is slow because of his weight. If you actually watched him, you'd know he has average to slightly better than average speed...he's about as fast as Carlos Quentin.

  • In reply to logic101:

    Everyone assumes Carlos Quentin isn't as slow as he actually is because he seems in shape. His foot injuries over the years have crippled him, which is why his defensive metrics are terrible (-13.5 UZR).

    But we're talking about Fielder. He's certainly faster than Konerko or Dunn, but is also a lot younger. I worry about him playing at that weight for years on end. At the same time, I prefer him a lot more to Dunn because he should be approaching his hitting prime (ages 27-31), and seems like he would respond to playing for a contending team.

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