Too Early Off-Season Musings

I took today off of work, because, well, I just didn’t feel like working. I think once you get to my age, maybe at any age, you go through fits and starts of feeling really productive and feeling really fucking lazy. I’m in one of those lazy stints today. Well, mostly….

Yes, I know the White Sox are careening towards their first playoff appearance in 12 years, but I also think this week’s games are of low consequence, seeding schmeeding, well, except for one thing.

Otherwise, I’m just ready for the tournament to start. However, I started thinking a bit about the 2021 White Sox primarily spawned by the fact that the team has a lot of young and unproven pitching. Some of that pitching is going to have to work in this playoffs, and others won’t but I don’t think that predicament changes much going into 2021, there will be a fully functional offense that needs a couple of tweaks and a pitching staff very much influx. What to do?

FIND ANOTHER JIMMY CORDERO

No clue where this picture came from, I apologize

Ricky Renteria has been much maligned for pitching the shit out of Jimmy Cordero, but let’s face it, some dependable bullpen arm is going to fucking wear it if you have a bunch of young starting pitchers that can’t get the job done. This was only a 60 game season, imagine next year when it’s 162. Holy fuck!! Jimmy gonna look like dis.

A quick look AND….I found him

This is cut from Fangraphs and is a cursory search of other rubber arm relievers

GREG HOLLAND!!!

Screenshot from Baseball Reference

Holland used to be good, he used to stick it up the White Sox tailpipe with regularity, but this year, he was a scrap heap minor league deal guy who is showing he can be run out there on back to back days and even three days in a row with regularity and give solid production. The White Sox need another one of these guys imo, particularly while they try to be a little more cautious with a few of their young back end options. This isn’t a Steve Cishek situation, I don’t think, this is only 1 year of high usage (actually 3/7ths of a year or so), not 2…so hopefully a small non-minor league deal would be enough to get him here, ready for ~75 appearances in 2021.

A BACK UP CATCHER THAT HELPS WITH OUR GREATEST ISSUE

The deeper we get into the White Sox being a good team, the more we realize we kinda need Dylan Cease to be good, and the deeper we get, the more we be waiting for that to happen. Before you cry to the internet that ole BeefLoaf has GIVEN UP ON DYLAN CEASE, first, gfy, second, I’ll criticize anyone I fucking please, a little constructive criticism is good for the soul. However, I wrote a tl;dr post about Cease this past off-season and the one thing I noticed about Cease’s inability to throw strikes is that they are high in the zone strikes, particularly middle and away from right handed hitters. The two charts below are 2019 & 2020, they are sorted by Zone 12 of the strike zone (which is highlighted via heat map, but just means top middle of the zone).

2019 chart cut from Baseball Savant
2020 chart cut from Baseball Savant

Oh shit, I have found one guy in the top group both times, when searching for the top of the zone and he’s an old BeefLoaf fave!!! Wilson Ramos!

Screenshot from Baseball Reference

Assuming the White Sox don’t end up matching years and dollars to everyone’s favorite catcher of all times James McCann, I like looking for a catcher that has specific type framing skills for our more questionable lanzadores. That’s WILSON! Now, he does have a team option with the Mets in 2021 for $10M, but I highly doubt that the new ownership group is going to start off their first off-season with picking that option up. I’d guess they are trying to spend that money otherwise. Also, from the production above, I’d say Wilson Ramos is closer to the “lucky to have a job” portion of his career, than the “star catcher” portion.

Here’s how I envision the negotiation going between the White Sox and Wilson.

-BeefLoaf

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