Another glorious, injury-free (as far as I know) White Sox Spring Training game came and went on Tuesday. The team was good enough to broadcast it on whitesox.com, and as a result a couple of very important projects across offices on the South Side went uncompleted, firms presumably went under as a result, and the White Sox knocked the city deeper into the recession....just as they always planned.
Actually, Tuesday offered a rather meaningless affair, which is really
saying something, because this is Spring Training after all. The Sox
suited up their B-team, which gave a F+ offensive effort in turn, and
served as a pretty chilling reminder of how poor the team's farm
system is. Below the major league roster, of course there's some talent
with a bit of growth potential, but the number of players who can step
in and contribute on a major league level--or even hit Spring Training
pitching it seems--is very low.
In defeating the Sox 3-1, the
Brewers yielded just one extra-base hit out of 5 knocks, and struck out 8
batters. In the cases of Brandon Short and Tyler Flowers, these were
some particularly feeble whiffs. Combine that with defensive-whiz in
training Eduardo Escobar inexplicably holding onto a grounder too long
to record an out, incidentally jump-starting a two-run inning off of Chris Sale, and I
pretty much am done discussing any seasons past 2011 for a while. This
was an explosion of bleh...albeit in a hyper-insignificant setting.
As far as potentially relevant elements of the game, they can all be enjoyed with a sense of reserved optimism.
-Adam Dunn went 0-2 with a K. We know he strikes out, and his power
isn't being questioned because he's still the size of an IHOP. The big thing to watch for is his walk rate, and
he's now earned a pass twice in six PAs. Miniscule sample of course,
but, at least he hasn't forgot how to walk.
-Mark Buehrle was super-sharp. He's not exactly the type who needs a
long time to wind his stuff into shape, but to see him already in prime
speed-mixing mode with a good changeup was encouraging. If for no other
reason than I'd like to go as long as possible without saying "Buehrle
is Buehrle" in his defense.
-Dayan Viciedo set the Sox fan base on fire with competent right field
defense (give us a break, it's been a while). At his current condition
(young as hell and slimmer than ever) Viciedo showed he has decent
outfield speed, and while he's always had a good arm, the outfield
assist he recorded suggested it could translate to the outfield
smoothly. His true range, his ability to read off the bat, and his
athleticism in the field are all still question marks, but question
marks are better than red X's.
Dayan can still crush lefties, blasting a deep flyout to dead center and a single against Southpaws, but that promise was tempered a bit by the way he waved hastily at a slider from righty Zack Greinke with the bases loaded. And with that, my excitement for Viciedo is matched by my excitement for Viciedo going to the minors.
A win, or someone hitting a home run, or some more K's from the staff, would do wonders to work up some real enthusiasm, but I must reiterate with full firmness; nothing is going wrong right now.
J.J. also has some Spring Training notes, and since he pointed it out as well, Tom Fornelli's thoughts on the nutbaggery that was the situation surrounding that Stacey King joke piece is a fun read.
Confused? Annoyed? Read my stat primer. It's a fun read...at least as far as stat primers go.