After they underachieved last season, the White Sox changed managers, replacing Tony La Russa with Pedro Grifol.
They were even worse this year, prompting general manager Rick Hahn and executive vice president Kenny Williams to trade veteran pitchers Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Kendall Graveman, Joe Kelly, Reynaldo Lopez, Keynan Middleton and emerging power hitter Jake Burger.
A week ago, Williams and Hahn were fired.
Such a long, poor stretch of bad baseball has created massive changes.
Place the blame anywhere you want, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, the front office, the manager, the roster. There is plenty to go around and it’s all well deserved.
It sure looks like it’s going to take years to clean up the current mess, but Grifol is confident there is enough talent remaining to make the Sox contenders next year in the AL Central, baseball’s worst division.
Yoan Moncada certainly deserves a heavy dose of blame for what’s happened the last two seasons.
He was 0-for-2 with a walk in the White Sox’s 9-0 loss to the Orioles Monday night at Camden Yards, and Moncada is batting a lackluster .244/.289/.378 with 5 home runs and 28 RBI in 68 games this year.
There’s no doubt the Sox would have tried moving Moncada before the Aug. 1 trade deadline, but the 28-year-old third baseman has a bad back.
Moncada also has a bad contract. He’s owed $24 million next season and has a $25 million club option for 2025 which includes a $5 million buyout.
The White Sox are likely stuck with Moncada for another year, but he has been showing signs of better health and better results.
In spring training, Moncada was slowed by a herniated disc in his lower back. The injury has been bothering him throughout the season, but the switch-hitter has been gradually improving since missing the last two weeks of June and most of July.
“I was feeling very good before spring training and the World Baseball Classic, and then all that happened was a really rough patch,” Moncada said through a translator. “Hopefully that’s in the past, and hopefully it stays that way. I know that I have to keep working on my strength and hopefully it stays that way.”
Over his last nine games, Moncada is 12-for-34 (.353) with 4 doubles, a home run and 8 RBI.
Dealing with a back issue this year and hamstring and oblique injuries last season, Moncada rarely looks to be giving 100% effort. His manager insists that’s not true.
“Perception sometimes is reality,” Grifol said. “In this case, it’s not. This guy cares more than a lot of people that I’ve been around in this game. He works as hard as anybody in this game. He cares about his defense. He cares about offense. He cares about winning.
“When it comes to Moncada, I don’t really care what it looks like to people. I know what’s real and this guy cares more than a lot of people think that he does.”
In Monday’s loss to Baltimore, the Sox managed only 2 hits off starter Grayson Rodriguez and three relievers.
White Sox starter Michael Kopech (5-12, 5.08 ERA) had another forgettable outing, throwing 95 pitches over 4 innings and allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks.
“I’ve been trying to work on some things,” Kopech said. “I’m not terribly upset with how I pitched. I’m pretty upset with the results. We’re looking to win games and it’s unfortunate I can’t get to the fifth (inning) and I can’t take a little bit of the load off the bullpen.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)