Liriano's numbers don't tell the whole story

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Liriano's numbers don't tell the whole story

Francisco Liriano has a 3-10 record. That doesn't look good. It also doesn't matter.

Five of those losses came during Liriano's first six starts, after which he was demoted to the Twins' bullpen with a 9.45 ERA and 19 walks in 26 23 innings. Since his return to the rotation May 30, Liriano is 3-5. He's allowed either one or two runs in five of those 11 starts, and is 2-2 in those outings.

In his previous two starts before the White Sox scored seven off him July 23, Liriano struck out 25 in 14 innings while allowing six runs. He lost both starts.

Liriano's win-loss record really isn't relevant, especially in a discussion of how he'll fare going forward. He's coming from the Twins, who enter Sunday with the second-worst record in the American League, to the White Sox, who have the third-best record in the league.

We can't completely sweep Liriano's first six starts under the rug, but it's worth noting that Liriano allowed more runs from April 7 through May 7 (30) than he did his his 11 starts after returning to Minnesota's starting rotation (29).

Here's a comparison of two unnamed pitchers over their last 11 starts:

Pitcher A: 66 IP, 3.68 ERA, 79 K, 29 BB, 6 HR, .595 opponent OPS
Pitcher B: 76 IP, 3.79 ERA, 71 K, 18 BB, 10 HR, .704 opponent OPS

Both are now White Sox starters. Pitcher A is Liriano, Pitcher B is Jake Peavy.

Of course, over the entire 2012 season, Peavy has been much better than Liriano. Nobody's doubting that. But since his move back to the rotation, Liriano has been comparable to Peavy, who earned a bid to the All-Star Game and has been mentioned in early Cy Young chatter this season.

On the surface, the White Sox are getting a starter who's 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA. But those numbers are hardly fair. If Liriano can continue this success over his next 11 starts, he'll provide an incredible boost to the playoff chances of the White Sox.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria won't be fazed by rebuild

White Sox manager Rick Renteria won't be fazed by rebuild

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Rick Renteria knew a White Sox rebuild would be a possibility when he took over as manager and he’s not afraid of the challenges it presents.

Same as he told them in October, the new White Sox manager said on Day 3 of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday that he’s OK with whatever direction the team chooses to head. Given the events of the past two days, when the White Sox reigned in four elite prospects in pair of blockbuster deals for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, Renteria has a pretty firm grasp of what’s to come.

Shortly after trading they traded Sale to the Boston Red Sox for four minor leaguers on Tuesday, the White Sox acquired three top pitching prospects from the Washington Nationals for Eaton on Wednesday. Despite what promises to be an inexperienced roster in 2017, Renteria plans to take the same open-minded approach into next season as he always has regardless of the makeup of the roster.

“We're obviously going to miss Chris,” Renteria said several hours before the Eaton deal was completed. “He was an integral part of our organization and our team. My only concern is obviously whatever players, what group of players I have, those are the ones I have to manage. So at this point, we have what we have right now and we'll see how it continues.”

When he hired him on Oct. 3, general manager Rick Hahn said he did so in part because the Renteria could handle a veteran roster equally as well as a youthful one. Hahn mentioned Tuesday that the entire major league coaching staff has been restructured with player development in mind, including the additions of third-base coach Nick Capra and bullpen coach Curt Hasler.

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Regardless of whether or not the team planned to compete next season, Renteria expected to at least work with some younger players. It’s the way of the world, promoting prospects to the majors with the idea it’s the final step in their development, Renteria said. Renteria didn’t sound as if he’s worried if he was inundated with prospects.

“There was talks of the possibility, but there was nothing set in stone at the time obviously,” Renteria said. “Younger players are filtering in a lot sooner than they used to in the past. You still have to continue to teach at the Major League level, and that's one thing that's evident throughout.”

Renteria said the key to players young or old is communication. Either way his approach would mostly be the same.

“Every human being is the sum total of all their experiences, so you've got to get to know people first, see what it is that motivates them, what kind of clicks with them to get them to act out on certain things that you might have them perform on a more consistent basis,” Renteria said. “I think that baseball has its own language. It's something that is indescribable at times. But working with the younger guys, I relish it. I look forward to it.

"But I also look forward to working with older veteran players, too. It's the same. My approach doesn't change a lot, other than you give people with experience their place.”

White Sox deal Adam Eaton to Nationals for Lucas Giolito, two others

White Sox deal Adam Eaton to Nationals for Lucas Giolito, two others

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The White Sox completed another blockbuster deal at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday night, sending Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals.

One day after they traded Chris Sale to Boston for four minor leaguers, including two elite prospects, the White Sox traded their outstanding leadoff man for three more top prospects, including pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Washington’s 2016 first-rounder Dane Dunning is also in the deal.

The Nationals’ top minor leaguer and MLB.com’s third-rated prospect in the game, Giolito was one of the main players included in a reported package for Sale only two days earlier. A first-round draft pick in 2012, the 22-year-old right-hander features an outstanding fastball-curveball combination.

Lopez is the No. 38 overall prospect in baseball and Dunning was selected with the 29 th pick in the June draft.

Giolito is the second top-5 prospect the White Sox have added in two days along with infielder Yoan Moncada, the 2016 minor league player of the year, who came over from Boston in the Sale trade. The White Sox also acquired right-hander Michael Kopech, the 30th overall prospect, in the Sale deal.