Saturday, May 28, 2022

Jerry Reinsdorf Is Getting What He Paid For With The White Sox Struggles


The Chicago White Sox lost their eighth consecutive game on Tuesday night, losing to the Kansas City Royals 6-0. Chicago has battled hitting slumps, injuries, and errors throughout the losing streak as promising World Series hopes begin to be questioned. The White Sox roster weaknesses are now being exposed as necessary offseason improvements have not been made over the past few seasons due to owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s refusal to spend significant money.

The White Sox Plan For Success In 2022 Has Failed Quickly

Following a quick four-game exit from the American League Divisional Series against the Houston Astros in 2021, there were several areas of improvement the White Sox needed to make this past offseason to become better. Chicago needed a right fielder, another starting pitcher, and a second baseman. Fans and analysts believed that this would be the offseason that  Reinsdorf would finally allow general manager Rick Hahn to sign an impactful free agent, as several free agents met the team’s specific needs.

Unfortunately, before and after the MLB Lockout that lasted three months during the offseason, Chicago fans watched as premiere free agents signed lucrative new deals with smaller-market teams. Free agents such as Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien, Kyle Schwarber, Nicholas Castellanos, Michael Conforto, and Steven Matz, all of whom would have addressed positional needs for the White Sox, all signed elsewhere or have yet to be signed.

Chicago’s front office did spend money but on relievers and depth free agents, including Josh Harrison, Johnny Cueto, and Vince Velasquez. Harrison was signed to fill the White Sox’s need at second base but has only played four games at the position, despite playing nine games this season. Had it not been for the trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers resulting in the acquisition of AJ Pollock, Chicago would have had a platoon situation in right field between second-year players Andrew Vaughn and Gavin Sheet.

Reinsdorf and his front office were anticipating the White Sox remaining healthy in 2022 while their young players, including Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Vaughn, and Sheets, would all take significant steps in growth, improving significantly. Unfortunately, Chicago’s roster has not been able to stay healthy as nearly half the projected lineup, along with two-fifths of their starting rotation, has missed time this season due to injuries.

Chicago’s plan for success has been exposed and has failed miserably to start the 2022 season. Velasquez and Dallas Keuchel have struggled substantially as back of the rotation starters, while errors and a lack of hitting continue to pile up. The White Sox lineup has only scored more than four runs once in their last 11 games while only scoring two runs or less in five games during the eight-game losing streak.

Poor pitching and poor hitting are a result often seen when MLB teams avoid making significant improvement via free agency and try to find short-term cost-saving solutions. The White Sox ownership and front office knew they needed a veteran starting pitcher during free agency and passed on potentially re-signing Carlos Rodon, who would have cost 18 million dollars, or signing Matz, who would have cost 11 million dollars. Chicago’s front office chose to rely on Keuchel, who was left off the postseason roster due to sub-par pitching in 2021.

Jerry Reinsdorf Deserves Criticism For Putting The White Sox In This Position

Although Hahn has done a tremendous job as general manager in rebuilding the White Sox through trading for top prospects, he has been limited when it comes to vital decisions when it comes to the team’s roster and coaching. Reinsdorf was responsible for the managerial hire of Tony La Russa in November of 2020, a hiring that shocked the baseball world. Additionally, Hahn’s largest free-agent contract given during the past two offseason has been the signing of closer Liam Hendricks, a contract worth 54 million dollars over four years.

Through 16 games this season, everything that can go wrong for the White Sox has gone wrong, including a league-leading 20 errors by the players and questionable managerial decisions by La Russa. The White Sox were picked by many to contend for the World Series this season despite the lack of impactful free-agent offseason acquisitions and because of their still talented roster. Unfortunately, the White Sox roster is underperforming immensely right now, while Reinsdorf’s managerial hire continuously fails at making the necessary corrections.

MLB teams that are serious about contending for a championship will do whatever it takes to improve their roster and address any weaknesses they may have. The White Sox have repeatedly attempted to overcome these weaknesses with stop-gap solutions and frugal spending. Chicago’s roster over the last two seasons has featured players such as Brian Goodwin, Nick Williams, Cesar Hernandez, Billy Hamilton, Adam Eaton, Adam Haseley, and Velasquez due to ownership’s refusal to spend legitimate money on proven veteran players.

After winning American League Central Division last season while battling several serious injuries to the roster, the White Sox front office has made the mistake of gambling on good health in 2022. None of the team’s offseason needs were seriously addressed, while no credible depth was added. The lack of a financial commitment to a White Sox team capable of winning the World Series is starting to pay off during their eight-game losing streak, with Reinsdorf solely at fault.

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