White Sox at OKBet MLB Baseball 2023
White Sox faded in 2022
The Chicago White Sox had reason to be optimistic heading into the 2022 season. They won at a.583 clip in the shortened 2020 season and entered the playoffs for the first time since 2008. After making the perplexing choice to fire manager Rick Renteria and replacing him with long-retired Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, the White Sox won the American League Central and had their most victories in a season since their championship season in 2005 in 2021 OKBet MLB Baseball. While neither the 2020 nor 2021 seasons produced much playoff success, the 2022 club, with its nucleus intact, would undoubtedly provide the Sox with another opportunity to make a deep October run.
Of course, this did not occur. As the season comes to a close, the Sox sit under.500 with a negative run differential. This despite having played one of the poorest schedules in Major League Baseball, as have all AL Central clubs. With the South Siders almost certainly out of postseason contention, it’s time to assess what went wrong and what they need to do to improve in 2023.
Everything else stems from the fact that the White Sox had more than their fair share of injuries in 2022. Eloy Jimenez, Lance Lynn, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Luis Robert, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Liam Hendriks, and Joe Kelly are among the Red Sox’s key contributors heading into the season. Not only did all of those players end up on the injured list at different times this season, but they also spent over 500 days on the IL in total. Given that Kopech, Anderson, and Robert are now on the IL, that total will very certainly exceed 500 days at OKBet MLB Baseball. In addition to Kelly and Hendriks, the bullpen has suffered serious injuries to Garret Crochet (who hasn’t thrown since early April due to Tommy John surgery), Aaron Bummer, and Kyle Crick.
The fact that 36-year-old Johnny Cueto, who didn’t make his first start until the middle of May after being unsigned over the winter, is now third on the club in WAR says volumes. All of that great power lost to injury had a lot to do with the team ranking 22nd in the majors in home runs (despite playing in a power-friendly home stadium) and 18th in bullpen ERA.
The Sox also had a rather poor team defense at OKBet MLB Baseball. This season, the Sox rank 21st in Defensive Efficiency, which is the percentage of balls in play that a defense turns into outs (kind of the whole idea of the defensive endeavor). They had little output from second base and center field, their roster-wide lack of depth was revealed, and the signing of A.J. Pollock was at best a half-measure. GM Rick Hahn’s unusually silent deadline didn’t help things either. Finally, a 7-12 loss to the Cleveland Guardians essentially ended their chances of winning the division.
What must take place
First and foremost, it is time to move on from La Russa. His health difficulties will prevent him from playing this season, although he is under contract until 2023. He shouldn’t have returned. La Russa deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but he is no longer a capable manager at this level. That was brutally obvious at many points this season, and the players were well aware of it. Baseball is not a strategically involved sport from a management sense, hence the most basic obligation of a manager is “first, do no damage.” La Russa did not meet that requirement at OKBet
Aside from that, the Sox must hope for improved health, at least among their key players. If Pollock exercises his player option for 2023, he must be no more than the light side of a platoon in an outfield corner (pairing him with prospect Oscar Colás is a viable solution if the Sox are reluctant to pay to fix the matter). While José Abreu’s power drop is troubling, particularly considering his age of 35, he has been extremely productive overall. With his popularity and great leadership abilities, it’s worth negotiating an extension to bring him back in 2023. (and perhaps beyond).
This essentially amounts to “running it back at OKBet,” but given how heavily injuries contributed to the Sox’s 2022 collapse, it’s a reasonable strategy. While the Guardians were clearly the strongest club in the division, the AL Central will still be a winnable loop in 2023. In general, the Sox should give this core another go in 2023, and if that fails, it’s time to start seriously considering changes to the front office and player-development apparatus.
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