Chicago White Sox

MLB Power Rankings: Week 3

742994.png

MLB Power Rankings: Week 3

Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 MLB teams -- take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.

Previous rankings: Preseason Week 1 Week 2

Tony
JJ Comments 1

Tony: Simply dominating. Offense is cray.
JJ: Hamilton slugging 103 points higher than Napoli, who's at .673.
2

Tony: Can't fall if they keep winning series.
JJ: Yadier Molina looks like a legit offensive threat.
3

Tony: Need to find more consistency.
JJ: Stephen Strasburg Productions presents baseball in the groin.
4

Tony: Holy cow, can they pitch.
JJ: Not a great run differential.
5

Tony: They can still bring the hammer on offense.
JJ: Scored 90 runs; still care too much about Jesus Montero.
6

Tony: Kemp, Ethier an awesome 1-2 punch right now.
JJ: Freddie Freeman fuels fantastic flurry of runs.
7

Tony: Just wait 'til Matt Moore gets going.
JJ: Haven't been super impressive, but very solid.
8

Tony: Almost got swept by the A's? Yu serious, bro?
JJ: Matt Kemp? Yeah, he's good.
9

Tony: Still love these Canadians.
JJ: Someday, Albert Pujols will homer, and they'll take off.
10

Tony: What hurts more, the Lee injury or an MWP elbow?
JJ: Living proof that pitcher W-L records are meaningless.
11

Tony: Doing great...until they choke late again.
JJ: Things are looking up with great pitching, Dunn succeeding.
12

Tony: Can we call the AL playoff race the Humber Games?
JJ: Bad pitching, okay offense. Still think they're average.
13

Tony: Hudson's DL stint will really hurt.
JJ: West looks wide open this year.
14

Tony: Stellar lefties abound in lineup and bullpen.
JJ: Lincecum has a 10.54 ERA and 3.38 FIP. He'll be okay.
15

Tony: Will go as far as their rotation will take them.
JJ: Pitching allowing too many homers.
16

Tony: Nothin' special right now.
JJ: Not gonna pass Detroit, but will be pesky.
17

Tony: Can any pro sports team match this mess & drama?
JJ: Offense has been putrid - only three teams have lower OBPs.
18

Tony: They'll hang around in AL Central.
JJ: Top-10 offense, bottom-5 pitching so far.
19

Tony: Have won three straight series.
JJ: Finally starting to put some things together.
20

Tony: Just wait 'til Ike Davis gets going.
JJ: 2.99 team ERA, .284 team OBP.
21

Tony: Could challenge Boston for drama before 2012 is over.
JJ: Pitching has been surprisingly good.
22

Tony: Where would they be if they just scored runs?
JJ: This may be as high as they'll be ranked this year.
23

Tony: How have they hung around this long?
JJ: Seriously. Enter Monday with a 10 run differential.
24

Tony: Moneyball is kinda money so far.
JJ: No team has allowed more runs than them, and it's not close. 25

Tony: Mauer, Morneau looking like old.
JJ: Only Texas has allowed fewer runs, but they can't score.
26

Tony: Still think they're better than record.
JJ: Have scored double the runs of Pittsburgh.
27

Tony: SP Luebke becoming piece to build around.
JJ: -22 run differential worst in NL. 28

Tony: Sigh. I feel for Kansas City.
JJ: Well, I guess there's nowhere to go but up after Saturday.
29

Tony: Their offenses is just offensive.
JJ: Eat away your sorrows at Stroud'sOklahoma Joe's.
30

Tony: How in the name of Jeff Bagwell do they have six wins?
JJ: Liriano, pitching staff an absolute mess.

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

moancada.jpg

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

Nearly eight months into their rebuild, the White Sox have accrued an eye-popping amount of young talent. The franchise continues to receive kudos even in trading a pair of relievers this week to add depth to what might be the best farm system in baseball.

But having the best farm system -- the White Sox have eight of MLBPipeline.com’s top 100 prospects -- won’t mean much until it’s realized.

Well versed on the subject having experienced it on his own, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo acknowledged before Thursday’s 6-3 win over the White Sox just how uncertain the rebuilding process can be. In Rizzo’s eyes, it wasn’t just talent that got the Cubs over the hump, it was timing, too.

“It happened fast, but it could have went the other way, too,” Rizzo said. “We’re lucky with how everything turned out. Plus, a lot of hard work has gone into it.”

[MORE: Aaron Bummer on what it's like to get called up to the majors]

Similar to Yoan Moncada’s arrival last week, Rizzo was the first [hyped prospect to be promoted] after Theo Epstein’s plan went into place. Acquired the previous winter from San Diego, Rizzo reached the majors midway through the 2012 season with the Cubs only a few months into their rebuild. The three-time All-Star didn’t know it at the time, but he was the first new face the Cubs would introduce to their audience. While Rizzo often [was aware of skepticism of Epstein’s plan], he said he never felt the same pressure from fans. Rizzo also said he can understand why not all the Cubs faithful were on board.

“I think I was naïve and happy to be back in the big leagues,” Rizzo said. “You’ve just got to focus on playing baseball and not worry about everything else that you can’t control.

“I didn’t feel (pressure) at all. I know people were calling for the upper front office’s jobs. But they had a plan and they had a vision and they preached it the entire time.”

“As a fan I can understand why you get upset because you want to win. As a fan of football or whatever sport, if my team doesn’t win, I get mad. But obviously they knew what they were doing.”

So far the White Sox fan base has been mostly supportive of Rick Hahn’s efforts and embraced the idea of building through the farm system. But not everyone is on board with a 25-man roster teardown that appears to have the club hurtling toward its first 100-loss season since 1970.

This week’s Crosstown series is a reminder there are tough times ahead for the White Sox.

The Cubs lost a combined 197 games in 2012 and 2013 and 89 games in 2014. The second half of the 2017 season could be extremely difficult for a White Sox club that has traded Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings all since December.

Rizzo thinks the way the Cubs handled those difficulties played into their success in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s life,” Rizzo said. “There are tough times in anything. There are going to be good times and bad times so it’s all about how you approach it and how you handle it.

“We always knew the potential we had, it was just a matter of going out and doing it. Ball’s bouncing your way, calls going your way and staying together.”

Aaron Bummer on what it's like to get called up to the majors

aaron_bummer_sox.jpg
USA TODAY

Aaron Bummer on what it's like to get called up to the majors

For Aaron Bummer, Thursday was far from a bummer.

While experience continues to pour out the door of the White Sox clubhouse, new opportunities arise with those exits. For the White Sox, openings seem to be arriving every other day and Bummer is the latest to get a chance after Dan Jennings was traded was the Tampa Bay Rays for minor-leaguer Casey Gillaspie on Thursday morning. Jennings is the sixth player traded by the White Sox since July 13 and the fourth reliever.

A left-handed reliever, Bummer started 2017 at Advanced-A Winston-Salem and on Thursday received his third promotion of the season, joining the White Sox before the finale of the Crosstown Cup. Bummer, who missed all of 2015 after he had Tommy John surgery, couldn’t quite believe he was standing in the White Sox clubhouse.

“It’s been kind of a crazy 15 months because about 12 months ago is when I made my debut back from TJ,” Bummer said. “Twelve months ago I was in rookie ball so it’s kind of a crazy turn of events. Could I have ever imagined this, absolutely not.

“To be here right now is unbelievable and an awesome feeling.”

The No. 28 prospect in the White Sox farm system, Bummer posted a 3.31 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 49 innings between Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. Bummer’s fastball grades at 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, sitting between 95-97 mph and touching 99, according to MLBPipeline.com. He also features a 55-grade slider.

The one area that scouts suggest Bummer needs to answer is control as he’s walked 20 batters this season.

“You have to allow them to be who they are,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s still 90 feet to the bases, 60 feet, 6 inches to the bases. It’s kind of a cliché, the Hoosiers rule, it’s the same. “You have to go out and execute pitches and trust the skillset and do it.”

Bummer’s great experience began when he learned the news of his promotion late Wednesday. He awoke his parents, who flew in to Chicago on Thursday, with the news and also told his girlfriend he was headed for the majors.

“it was a whole bundle of emotions for all of us,” Bummer said. “I’ve never been in something like this. I know a lot of these guys since Spring Training. And kind of had that bond and that vibes we are all together and these guys are all good teammates and everybody is pulling for each other. At the end of the day we are all here to win games and hopefully we can do that.”