Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Chris Getz Did Not Fulfill His Offseason Promise

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Chris Getz vowed to improve the team’s defense in his first offseason as White Sox vice president and general manager. The team was bottom-five in all of MLB defensively in 2023, and their poor glovework was a significant factor in why they lost 101 games. Before spring training began this year, Getz detailed how the team’s past defensive shortcomings gave the organization a negative reputation in the eyes of free-agent pitchers. In Getz’s opinion, pitchers wanted to avoid signing with a team with a poor defense behind them. He assured fans that he would fix it.

Getz’s Defense Oriented Additions

With defense being a priority, Getz brought in several veterans with a reputation for being quality defenders. Martín Maldonado, Nicky Lopez, and Paul DeJong fit that mold. Getz’s additions made sense on paper. They were all veterans who were better defensively than who the White Sox had in those positions in 2023. But the White Sox have not improved defensively at all this season. They have somehow gotten even worse.

The Defensive Numbers Are Not Pretty

The White Sox are the worst defensive team in baseball. The numbers prove it. They rank last in MLB in defensive runs saved, outfield arm runs, fielding runs value, and total defense. They also rank second to last in ultimate zone rating, outs above average, and range runs above average. Getz wanted to make the south side an “attractive” destination for pitchers by putting a quality defensive team on the field behind them. It has been anything but that. The White Sox are at the bottom of the league in virtually every defensive metric. The stats are a damning piece of evidence against Getz, considering his efforts in improving that area of the team this offseason.

Other Factors Involved

While the numbers do not lie, one must consider the other factors when looking at the White Sox overall team defense. Luis Robert Jr. and Yoán Moncada, two of the better defenders on the team on paper, have barely played at all this season. In addition, Getz inherited a mess. Andrew Benintendi, Gavin Sheets, and Andrew Vaughn, the three worst defenders on the White Sox this season per Fangraphs, were already on the team when he took over. Getz was not cutting the cord with those players this offseason, so it is tough to place the blame squarely on him. A new GM can only do so much, especially when said GM takes over a team that lost 101 games the previous season.

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Getz’s Signings Are A Mixed Bag

It is best to look at the players Getz targeted and signed himself to understand his impact on the team’s defense. Two of his offseason additions, Nicky Lopez and Paul DeJong, both grade out favorably from a defensive metrics standpoint, but Martín Maldonado, Tommy Pham, and former Sox outfielder Robbie Grossman do not. Getz’s defensive-oriented additions have been a mixed bag, which is unacceptable given the organization’s priority on defense over offense this past offseason. The team cannot hit, so the least they can do is be good defensively. They are not.

Defensive Improvement Is Much Needed

Getz infamously said, “I don’t like our team,” before last offseason began. Well, he still cannot possibly like his team. They are the worst team in baseball and could end up being one of the worst teams in baseball history. He inherited a mess, and it is unfair to blame him for everything. He has also done some things right, namely signing Erick Fedde, choosing Paul DeJong over Tim Anderson, and turning a journeyman outfielder into a potential long-term bullpen arm. But his efforts to improve the team defensively have yet to translate on the field. His first offseason at the helm was an abject failure. Pitching and defense wins games, and the White Sox will have to return to the drawing board in that department again next offseason.

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Smoky Burgess
Smoky Burgess
Jun 4, 2024 1:18 pm

It will take a few years to judge a GM. But I do remember when the Sox were a better team and our Manger was then a coach at KC. He said something like he couple tell before the game if the Sox were going to compete that day. Can he still? If so, alter the lineup. If not, why?

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