Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The White Sox Finally Have A Good Problem


A lot has gone wrong for the White Sox this season, but now there is another problem. Thankfully for the White Sox, this time it is a good problem.

After the White Sox announced they are placing Eloy Jimenez on the injured list, they called up first time major leaguer Zach DeLoach, who they acquired in the Gregory Santos trade.

Now, the White Sox have a plethora of outfielders, three of which have very little major league experience, but offer some very intriguing upside. DeLoach, Corey Julks, and Dominic Fletcher all have promise. But now the problem comes into play. How are they going to split playing time between all of these players?

Unfortunately, the White Sox are stuck with Andrew Benintendi. There are no opt-outs in his contract and he was guaranteed all 75 million at signing. Unless he heats up and someone takes him off our hands, he is going to be on the White Sox for the time being. Despite being one of the worst qualified hitters in all of the MLB, manager Pedro Grifol still plays him, thus eating up an outfield spot. At a certain point, Grifol needs to stop playing Benintendi, as there are better players he is taking at-bats away from.

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Then there is Gavin Sheets. For some reason the White Sox still play him in the outfield despite him not being an outfielder. He needs to stick at first base and DH, especially now we have all these outfielders. It is fine for him to play the outfield in a pinch, but they need to figure that out.

Tommy Pham should not be taken out of the lineup, but he won’t be on the team past August. It is important he plays everyday to continue to raise his trade value. But, once he is gone, a spot will open up in the outfield. However, that should be the time that Luis Robert Jr. is back, thus taking up another outfield spot.

This is a good problem for the White Sox to have, as it is never a bad thing to have too many good players. But, we need them to play so we can figure out what they can do. Pedro Grifol and Chris Getz need to get on the same page. If Chris Getz wants to see what a player can do, he needs to make sure that Grifol is playing him.

Take Dominic Fletcher for example. He has been up for a week and yet today is his first start. They even had Zach Remillard start in left one game instead of Fletcher. There is no need for him to sit on the bench, as he is a young player that can develop into a solid major league contributor. If you have to bench a player who is under performing, do it.

This is a lost season. The White Sox don’t really benefit from Benintendi getting at-bats, so they need to make sure Julks, DeLoach, and Fletcher see some consistent at-bats. If just one of them shows that they can be a long term piece, it’s a win for the White Sox.

Julks has already shown he can play, as he is off to a hot start and already has .5 WAR, which is one of the best on the team. They need to figure out if this is a short term performance, or if he can do it over the course of a season. While figuring out what outfielders play has been a problem, it shouldn’t be, as Fletcher, DeLoach, and Julks should get the majority of the playing time. Pedro needs to make the right decision and do what is best for the rookies.

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