With A.J. Pierzynski making his return to Chicago this weekend with the Texas Rangers, he's making many White Sox fans wish he was still behind the plate for the South Siders.
After eight years with the team, Pierzynski left the White Sox this past offseason when the front office decided it was time to move on. That cleared a path for young catcher Tyler Flowers, who has been a disappointment offensively this season, hitting .192 in 82 games. Meanwhile, Pierzynski has batted .279 with 14 home runs through 100 games with Texas.
It begs the question: Did the White Sox make the right decision?
That's what the SportsTalk Live panel discussed ahead of the series-opener between the White Sox and Rangers on Friday.
"I think they knew what they were losing in a key way," said Jim Litke of the Associated Press. "I think it was a calculated judgment. They figured A.J. was getting a little bit older, they weren't going to have a competitive staff in terms of playoff baseball. And so I think they were willing to part with that and see what they could get along with in the meantime. The fact that he's played for Texas the way he has shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."
"They had to find out (what they had in Flowers," said Dan McGrath of the Chicago Sun-Times. "When you play behind Pierzynski, you don't get many at-bats. So as long as he was here, he wasn't really getting enough at-bats to tell if he was the answer. They invested a lot in him to acquire him, so they had to find out whether he could do it or not. And it's unfortunate that he didn't hit at all. I think they might have been able to get by if he gave them good defense and hit about .240 with a little bit of power, but he wasn't even close to that."
Check out the full discussion in the video above.