Let’s fix the White Sox defense in 3 quick steps.

I didn’t really want to be sitting here writing a blog about the White Sox the day after they got handled by the trained assassins known as the Houston Astros. I woke up solely focused on the 108 weight loss challenge that started today and I wanted to make sure I got as much poundage on the scale as possible, so I can wipe out my cohorts over the next several months. Unfortunately, my mind wanders and so did my fingers, (not like that) over to some statistical baseball websites and well, I couldn’t help but giggle. It was therapy of sorts for a LONG ASS SZN that ended in a less than optimal way.

This was the peak posterior in 1984

The White Sox defense pretty much sucked this season. I don’t think I need to convince yous and if I did, I think Peter Paul Gualtieri below can help me out quite easily.

I chose John Dewan’s Defensive Runs Saved as my one act play for diagraming these ills. See a nice and easy chart below from the website.

The White Sox were pretty brutal by DRS. Third from the bottom. Oof. Last year, the lord’s year of 2020, the COVID season, the White Sox were second in all of baseball. That’s right, they were a very good defensive team. This year….not so much. So what happened? Looking at the chart, it appears that Catcher, 2nd Base and Right Field are the main culprits. Let’s dig in a bit and see how we can make this better.

Catcher Defense

Below is a quick chart that shows the White Sox catcher defense.

This one seems pretty simple. If anyone knows where Zack Collins’ catchers mitt is located, please report it to the authorities. Or better yet, donate it to a worthy cause. Maybe make some shoes out of it. If all else fails, consider murdering it and burying it’s remains in a shallow grave at Armour Park. But for fucksake, do not let him put it on and go into a baseball game.

As the chart notes, -18 of the -21 Total Defensive Runs Saved (or in this case, LOST!) are credited to Collins. Dude didn’t even play half the innings. Whatta massacre. It’s too bad, because I was for giving this kid a chance, but if we got improving 2022 on the mind, we can’t have it. Also, Imma need Jerry Narron brought up on RICO charges.

2nd Base

How hard could it be to play the keystone you ask? Incredibly hard for anyone wearing a White Sox uni. See the chart below.

Note, I had to use the chart from Fangraphs because the Fielding Bible site was not including Nicky Madrigal and I had to give the kid credit where credit is due otherwise his stans will yell at me that I’m a hater.

This list adds up to 16, while the DRS chart above only goes up to 14. Could be rounding, could be John Dewan can’t count, I dunno, doesn’t matter.

First up, Nicky Stix is already swinging at everything in rehab with the Cubs, so no worries there. I think Danny Mendick showed us all too well how he’s basically a 29th man on a roster. Lastly, while Cesar was really playing hisself outta $6M down the stretch with this smell plate appearances, it turns out his ghastly defense was being outshined by that wild performance. YUCK! I think we solved this one by doing nothing.

SIDE NOTE: Since Andrew Vaughn was break-even for his 8 inning played at 2b, I can’t wait to hear the calls for him to man that spot in 2022.

Right Field

The last half decade has been filled with gory performances in Right Field, just because the White Sox are now contending doesn’t mean they should be immune to this haunted house of HORRors.

Oh boy…..

I must say, Brian Goodwin’s walk-off and bat flip is one of my favorite moments of the 2021 season and I have been a fan of his league averagish lefty bat with power for quite awhile. Maybe that’s why I was quick to shout down the counters that he was a brutal glove man. I guess in the post-mortem, consider me a believer (oh and also, for further proof, he spread some more of his defensive cheer in Center Field as well).

Remember how people have been talking about the Gavin Sheets / Andrew Vaughn Right Field platoon? Yea, might want to write that one down in pencil instead of pen. Sheesh. I kinda love that infielder Danny Mendick was actually better in Right Field. Weird.

There’s Good News and Bad News

Look, all kidding aside, this is just one defensive metric system and as they say on the internets, YMMV. So it’s quite possible that the players I am busting on weren’t too bad, or could make a material improvement in the future. Also, even if those players were that poor, it seems like we’ll be eliminating a good chunk of them and getting our White Sox back to scratch.

The only bad part is, most of the offenders that we eliminated didn’t hardly play in this playoffs, so what we saw against the Astros still might need more work. Such is the off-season.


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