Chicago White Sox

What to make of Sox, Tigers run differentials

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What to make of Sox, Tigers run differentials

A mini-debate was started this week by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal effectively dismissing Baltimore's run differential, which pegs the 51-44 Orioles to be well below .500. Allowing 439 runs while only scoring 395 doesn't have some people too confident in Baltimore's chances going forward, and with good cause.

But Rosenthal, in speaking to a few team officials from Baltimore, seemed to take the opinion that a few bad apples were spoiling the bunch -- i.e, the Orioles' run differential is so bad (the worst in the AL East) because of a few blowouts caused by poor starting pitching.

That's not an entirely wrong view, but Hardball Talk's Craig Calceterra points out that, for the Orioles to keep up their current pace both in terms of wins and run differential, it would be a historic outlier.

What does this have to do with the White Sox, though? As things stand on Monday, the White Sox have a better run differential than the Tigers, despite being 1 12 games out of first place. Detroit has scored 441 runs and allowed 420, while the Sox have scored 440 while allowing 401. That gives the Sox a 2 12-game advantage over Detroit in the expected win-loss category, which certainly seems like good news.

But, as expected when one team is on a five-game winning streak and the other a five-game losing streak, Detroit has moved closer to the White Sox in the last week. Since last Monday, Detroit has a 37-29 run differential, only marred by a 13-0 drubbing at the hands of the Angels on Tuesday. The White Sox in that same span have a 17-40 run differential.

So in the last week, Detroit is 8 runs, while the Sox are -23. These kind of things happen with the normal peaks and valleys of a full season.

The Sox are a better team than they've shown in the last week, and the smart money is on them eventually righting the ship. But the concern, though, is that Detroit is finally hitting their stride.

Since the start of July, Detroit is 13-4 with a run differential of 100-70. This run Detroit's on doesn't appear to be a mirage, like Baltimore's season can be viewed.

Just because Detroit appears to be who we thought they were doesn't mean the Sox should pack things up and won't ever be in first again this season. Far from it, and that doom-and-gloom attitude doesn't have much of a leg to stand on in late July.

But a sleeping giant has woken up, and the Sox have to buckle down and fight it.

White Sox continue dealing, trade Dan Jennings to Rays for prospect

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White Sox continue dealing, trade Dan Jennings to Rays for prospect

The White Sox continued their run of trades on Thursday morning, dealing relief pitcher Dan Jennings to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Casey Gillaspie.

Gillaspie, 24, was rated by MLB.com as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays organization. The switch-hitting first baseman batted .227 with nine homers, 44 RBIs and 45 runs scored in 95 games for AAA Durham.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound left-hander began the year ranked as the No. 74 prospect in baseball by Baseball America entering the year and was a Southern League All-Star in 2016.  The first-round pick in 2014 was a New York-Penn League All-Star that year and a Midwest League All-Star in 2015.

“Casey is a recent first-round pick who has shown a quality approach at the plate with some power throughout his minor-league career,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “He gives us yet another highly touted hitter who has stood out at every level in the Rays system and increases our organizational depth as we continue to add prospects to the system.”

Casey is the young brother of Conor Gillaspie, who spent three seasons with the White Sox from 2013 to 2015.

Jennings went 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA in 48 appearances for the White Sox this season, his 48 appearances are tied for second in the American League.

Yoan Moncada predicts home run is 'first one of many that are coming'

Yoan Moncada predicts home run is 'first one of many that are coming'

Wednesday’s homer may only have been Yoan Moncada’s first, but he predicts plenty more are headed this way.

The White Sox second baseman and baseball’s top prospect crossed off another first when he blasted a solo home run in Wednesday’s loss to the Cubs. Moncada’s 417-foot drive to center field sent Cubs starter Jake Arrieta to the showers, but it wasn’t enough as the White Sox fell to the Cubs 8-3 at Guaranteed Rate Field. The round-tripper came in the 47th plate appearance of Moncada’s young career and 27 th this season.

Acquired from the Red Sox in December, Moncada made his White Sox debut on July 18 and picked up his first hit on Friday.

“It means a lot because it was the first one of many that are coming, and I’m happy,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “It has been a nice week for me.”

Moncada had already walked and struck out looking by the time he faced Arrieta in the seventh inning. The rookie fell behind Arrieta 0-2 in the count but didn’t panic and belted an 0-2 curveball on the outside corner for a solo shot to center. The drive left Moncada’s bat at 105 mph and bounced off the green tin roof in straightaway center.

“He really put a good charge into that ball,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Right off the bat, too. I mean the ball really jumped off his bat. I think it was a breaking ball, too. Stayed on it, really good swing. I think his at-bats in general were pretty good. I think both sides probably got squeezed a little bit, but I think most of the guys put together some pretty good at-bats.”

Moncada has managed to put together a nice little memorabilia package in his first eight days in the big leagues. He received the lineup card from Renteria after he debuted against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Wednesday. Moncada also retrieved his first home run ball and hoped to get the lineup card from Renteria, too.

Arrieta was satisfied with his pitch but not the location. Still, the Cubs pitcher sounded impressed by the swing Moncada put on it and the result.

“It was a good breaking ball, but not in an 0-2 count where a guy’s in swing mode,” Arrieta said. “And he put a good swing on it, especially to hit it to dead center. Pretty balanced swing. You can tell that that guy is going to have a lot of potential. He’s pretty balanced in the box, but the pitch wasn’t supposed to be there.”

The offensive production hasn’t been there as much as Moncada would like early in the season. But, he suspects that will change.

“The results are going to come step by step,” Moncada said. “I’m just trying to enjoy the moment and try to take advantage of the experience and the opportunity to play here. I’m just happy I’m having this opportunity here.”