This Week in White Sox Baseball: July 16-22

Week 15 Record: 1-2 (34-64 Overall), 4th in AL Central

This was a short week, highlighted by an AWESOME Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. The White Sox lost the rubber match in Seattle on Sunday afternoon. Let’s take a look back at the short week.

Weekly Score Update

Game 96: White Sox 1, Mariners 3

Game 97: White Sox 5, Mariners 0

Game 98: White Sox 2, Mariners 8

This Week by the Numbers

0 – Number of hits Mark Buehrle gave up on this day (July 23) in 2009

1 – Number of home runs robbed by Leury Garcia

9 – Number of strikeouts recorded by Michael Kopech in his start on Friday

2 – Number of White Sox representatives in 2018 Futures Game (Basabe, Cease)

25 – Number of outs Dylan Covey recorded on Saturday in his longest career outing

.429/.478 – Nick Madrigal’s BA/OBP in his first 5 games with Low-A Kannapolis

90 – Total pitches Mark Buehrle threw this week in 2004 in a complete game shutout

0 – Number of times I’ve worried about Yoan Moncada this week

Quote of the Week: Jose Abreu on His Future with the White Sox

That’s the way things are in my mind right now. I’d like to win with this team. I’d like to stay with this team. And I’m going to do all in my power to make this team good as soon as possible.”

– Chicago Sun-Times

Despite all the rumors speculating Jose Abreu might be traded to a contender (like the Astros), Jose has made it clear that he wants to stay here in Chicago. I would love to see him stay with the White Sox – he is not blocking anyone behind him, and his veteran leadership continues to be an invaluable part of his game. I’m just glad to hear he’s as committed to Chicago as we are to him.

Question of the Week

The question this week surrounded Michael Kopech after his dominant outing on Thursday night. I asked: If Kopech was called up tomorrow, what would you prefer the Sox do about their rotation?

48% – Six Man Rotation

13% – Bump Giolito from the rotation

17% – Bump Shields from the rotation (without assuming he will be traded)

22% – Other (Most of you said “Trade Shields then bring up Kopech”)

First off, for the few fans that would rather keep Kopech down because of “service time”, this date has long passed; bringing him up now gives no additional years of control than bringing him up in September does.

Next, for the 13% of you who want to see Giolito bumped from the rotation, it’s not happening. Giolito is showing signs of improvement over his last several starts. He is very close to returning to the level he was at last year, and I hope we will see more of that improvement tonight in LA. But, seriously, you CAN’T give up on these guys so quickly.

For the fans who want to wait until Shields in traded to bring up Kopech, I think that is the White Sox’ Plan A, assuming they can trade Shields before the July 31 deadline. However, there are no guarantees that he will be traded in that time span. In that case, the Sox would most likely go to their Plan B, which I believe should be their Plan A.

Truthfully, much like our good friend BeefLoaf, I’m surprised at how well a six-man rotation was received. In my opinion, that is the option that makes the most sense: it gives the White Sox the ability to put some more fans in the seats to watch Kopech, while allowing our younger guys to get some extra rest late in the season. While it is important to make sure they are stretched out and can last 200+ innings, there is no need to over-extend our young pitchers; remember, Giolito and Lopez are both in their first full MLB seasons, and Rodon is coming off of an injury. This strategy also allows the White Sox the flexibility to keep James Shields if the return for him isn’t what they or most fans hope it will be (likely scenario).

No matter what the Sox do with Kopech, I think we can all agree that we want to see him in the Major Leagues sooner than later. His last two starts have been excellent, and the changeup that had been preventing him from dominating is showing flashes of brilliance. I am excited to see what he will bring to the South Side.

Player/Moment of the Week

Thanks to everyone who voted! In this short week with only one win, it is clear who our winner is this week for both Player and Moment of the Week: Dylan Covey, who threw 8.1 scoreless innings en route to a shutout win against the Mariners on Saturday.

Covey won POTW with 60% of the vote, while Leury’s leaping catch to rob a home run from Mitch Haniger on Saturday fell just 9 percentage points behind Dylan Covey’s gem for MOTW.

The Week Ahead: More West Coast Games and a trip up North

Monday: Lucas Giolito (6-8, 6.18 ERA) vs. Jaime Barria (5-6, 3.55 ERA), 9:07 CT

Tuesday: Carlos Rodon (2-3, 3.56 ERA) vs. Felix Pena (1-0, 3.42 ERA), 9:07 CT

Wednesday: James Shields (4-11, 4.26 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs (7-6, 2.68 ERA), 9:07 CT

Thursday: Dylan Covey (4-5, 4.95 ERA) vs. Nick Tropeano (3-5, 4.58 ERA), 3:07 CT

Friday-Sunday: Series vs. Blue Jays… Starters TBD

Enjoy the Week, White Sox Fans!

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