Jake Peavy’s Peaved and Sox Masher Math

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By Soxman

In a growing tradition through my near daily Twitter rants, I provide a quick glass half full, glass half empty outlook on the Chicago White Sox.

As we enter week four of the 2010 season, and a 8-11 record, there’s a glaring opportunity:

Glass Half Full:  The White Sox are tied for 3rd in the AL Central.

Glass Half Empty: The White Sox are also tied for last in the AL Central.

While many sports writers and critics are already writing off the White Sox this season, I still believe this team can contend for a division title.  How?  As simple as it sounds, the White Sox need to stick to plan and execute and players need to perform somewhere around their career norms.

Masher Ball is not going to win you a lot of ball games.  The White Sox rank third in MLB with 26HRs, and pretty much depended on the long ball to win every game against Seattle this weekend.  While any Sox fan will take a win any way they can get it, mathematics don’t favor this approach to offense.

For you kids out there reading this article, or for those who struggle with numbers, think about this.  In baseball, a .360 batting average puts you in contention for a league batting title, yet it means you succeed only 36% of the time.  In any classroom, that would be an “F.”  If a HR hitter or slugger clubs 50 dingers in a season of over 500 ABs, they are only succeeding 10% of the time.  The more you get on base, the more opportunities you have to score.  The more you make contact, the greater your chance to advance runners into scoring position.While the Sox are third in homers, they are DEAD LAST in major league baseball in batting average (.222).

The HR is a necessary part of baseball; it just can’t be the only part.  As the Sox marketing department says: “It’s Black and White.”

So what about Ozzie Ball?  Well, the White Sox have not abandoned that completely either.  They are tied for first in the majors with 21 stolen bases; now we just need to focus on converting those added bases into runs.

The team is somewhat divided on performance.  Here are the hitters doing their jobs:

Paul Konerko, .290, 8 HR, 14 RBI

Andruw Jones, .292, 6 HR, 9 RBI, 3SB

Alex Rios, .273, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 5 SB

Mark Teahen, .277, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB

In limited roles, Jayson Nix and Donnie Lucy have also managed to hit .300.SOXMAN AND SOXGIRL

Players Struggling:

A.J. Pierzynski .140 BA, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Carlos Quentin, .154, 3 HR, 13 RBI

Gordon Beckham, .214, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Alexei Ramirez, .210, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Juan Pierre, .222 BA

As these players are performing far below their career norms, they should turn things around at some point.

A.J. and Carlos Quentin need to lead the way, as you could easily argue Gordon Beckham might be transitioning to 2B and making sophomore adjustments that he didn’t have time to make in the minors. Perhaps Juan Pierre is getting adjusted to the AL strike zone?

Team pitching took a massive dive this past week at the hands of the Rays and Mariners.

Three of our five starters have ERAs over 5.8 and our middle relief showed some vulnerability.

While Freddy Garcia is dealing with various ailments and Gavin Floyd has always been susceptible to hot and cold streaks, fans should start to be concerned over Jake Peavy.

His walks to innings pitched ratio (1.84) is far above his 1.19 career mark, and it appears as though he is having disagreements with A.J. over pitch calling.  Don’t be surprised to see Donnie Lucy catch Peavy’s next start.  If he’s successful, Peavy’s starts may become AJ’s designated day off for the time being.

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