White Sox Final Team Status for 2019

This model focuses upon Cubs throughout the year but scripts that make Cubs reports work for any team.  White Sox are supposed to be an up and coming team and have been sellers at trade deadline for many years to rebuild their farm system.  The year 2019 was not very kind to them again.  Let’s look at White Sox final team status for 2019.

2019 CHA MONTHLY

Tm WAA BAT PITCH UR
20190501 -2 3.2 -13.8 -1.7
20190601 -2 -22.3 -20.9 -2.1
20190701 -3 -52.3 -19.9 3.4
20190801 -14 -91.3 -28.2 -2.2
20190901 -16 -94.3 -35.9 -8.5
20190929 -17 -74.2 -46.4 -3.4

The above is a snapshot taken of records at the beginning of each month like what was done for the Cubs.  White Sox were 39-42 on July 1, 2019 which represents 3 months of play or 1/2 season.  Their BAT derived from runs scored was horrible and PITCH derived from runs scored against was bad.

PE estimate based upon run differential on 7/1 gave them a record of 33-48.  The second half of 2019 both BAT and PITCH tanked further as well as their real win loss record of 72-89 , WAA = -17 ( WAA is odd because CHA only played 161 games ).  Unlike the Cubs, the White Sox were 4th in top 5 MLB teams winning more games than their PE estimate.

Tm WAA PEWAA DIFF
MIL 16 0 16
SFN -8 -22 14
ATL 32 22 10
CHA -17 -26 9
TEX -6 -14 8

Why teams over or under perform PE estimate is a mystery and different for every team.  Winning only 72 games is terrible and PE suggests they win only 68.   Bottom line: Both real and estimate suggests the White Sox were a bad team and bad teams typically are not loaded with superstars.

Top White Sox 2019

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+044+ 4.91 Lucas_Giolito_CHA PITCH
+063+ 3.91 Aaron_Bummer_CHA PITCH
+086+ 3.40 Jose_Abreu_CHA 1B-DH
+131+ 2.56 Alex_Colome_CHA PITCH
+140+ 2.50 Evan_Marshall_CHA PITCH
+171+ 2.14 Yoan_Moncada_CHA 3B
+174+ 2.12 Eloy_Jimenez_CHA LF
XXXXX 1.55 Jimmy_Cordero_CHA PITCH
XXXXX 0.61 Tim_Anderson_CHA SS

Above are the top White Sox players for 2019 according to this data model.  7 players in top 200 which isn’t bad for a very sub average team based upon real wins and losses.  Three guys in  top 100.  Lucas Giolito had a rough and tumble year but still landed in the top #50 which is a good sign for him and may be a good sign for things to come with White Sox starting rotation.

Lucas_Giolito_CHA PITCH

DateID Rank WAA
20190501 XXXXX -0.21
20190601 +032+ 2.37
20190701 +009+ 4.66
20190801 +035+ 3.86
20190901 +029+ 5.12
2019 +044+ 4.91

He was ranked #9 on 7/1/2019, the halfway point of the season, and pitched around average for the second half.  Monthly team status shows White Sox tanked during second half of the season.

The 4 other pitchers above  are relievers who don’t get much credit with WAR and Draft Kings but do get credit with this data model.  In modern baseball relief pitches around 1/3 of each game.  A run given up in the 7th is exactly equivalent to a run given up in the 9th.  The guy pitching the 9th often gets a save which may help his Draft Kings team.  The guy pitching the 7th gets no accolades.  Middle relievers are typically overlooked — especially by WAR.

With the above relievers White Sox could put together a decent relief squad next season.

Although Tim Anderson won the batting title he’s unranked but above average in this data model.  White Sox ended the season with -74 runs below average with respect to runs scored which is one of the worst in MLB.  That Anderson is above water on this team is a testament to his hitting.  Most Sox hitters are under water.  They have to be.  Someone has to be responsible.

Could it be that with such a high batting average Tim Anderson was saddled with a bad team that couldn’t drive him in and didn’t give him RISP opportunities?  is it really his fault?   If you assume that Anderson got ripped off for being on a bad team then you must assume the burden for that poor team run production is on the rest of the team.  Who could that be?

Jose Abreu drove in 123 runs scoring 85 times.  Anderson drove in 56, less than half of Abreu’s haul and scoring around the same.   WAR ranks Abreu  #166 , Anderson  #66.  The potential runs Anderson should have gotten based on his league leading batting average is far greater than the actual runs Abreu scored helping White Sox win real games, according to WAR and stats like wRC+.

This data model calculates runs above average in RISP situations which can only be done once event data is release by retrosheet.org; which it has now.  Seasonal RISP is usually related to seasonal WAA.  Tim Anderson is very slightly below average in RISP situations compared to the rest of MLB which concurs with his slightly above average seasonal WAA.   A post showing top and bottom of RISP for the 2019 season coming shortly and it sometimes produces interesting results.

White Sox fielded a Tier 1.5 relief squad each day at the beginning of August  which tanked to 0 by the end of the season.  They made a lot of acquisitions this winter which we’ll get into more during Spring training.  Let’s look at the recent additions to their starting rotation.

Dallas_Keuchel

Year Rank WAA TeamID Pos
2012 -085- -2.39 HOU PITCH
2013 -020- -4.47 HOU PITCH
2014 +048+ 3.97 HOU PITCH
2015 +007+ 8.06 HOU PITCH
2016 -167- -1.72 HOU PITCH
2017 +032+ 4.87 HOU PITCH
2018 +181+ 1.87 HOU PITCH
2019 +187+ 1.93 ATL PITCH
Total 12.12 217

Player acquisition is gambling and there are very few pitchers who are consistently good year to year.  Both Keuchel and Gonzalez below had their bad years but also very good years.  If these two play like their good seasons and Giolito plays like last season and … White Sox might have a decent starting rotation next season to go along with what looks like a decent set of hitters too.

Gio_Gonzalez

Year Rank WAA TeamID Pos
2008 -083- -2.62 OAK PITCH
2009 -037- -3.32 OAK PITCH
2010 +057+ 4.14 OAK PITCH
2011 +060+ 3.93 OAK PITCH
2012 +027+ 4.93 WAS PITCH
2013 +122+ 2.44 WAS PITCH
2014 XXXXX 0.44 WAS PITCH
2015 XXXXX 0.82 WAS PITCH
2016 -162- -1.78 WAS PITCH
2017 +014+ 6.47 WAS PITCH
2018 XXXXX -1.41 WAS PITCH
2018 XXXXX 1.18 MIL PITCH
2019 +185+ 1.93 MIL PITCH
Total 17.15 417

We’ll cover minor leagues next for both Cubs and Sox.  In Spring training we’ll look at all the new guys on each team in more detail.  Until then ….

UPDATE:  The Cubs broke out in 2015 after a tremendous run of terrible teams.  There may be similarities between the 2014 Cubs team that preceded 2015 and the 2019 White Sox.

2014 CHN MONTHLY

Tm WAA BAT PITCH UR
20140501 -8 -17.0 8.0 1.0
20140601 -14 -25.3 11.0 -2.2
20140701 -10 -36.8 30.4 -2.9
20140801 -16 -25.6 -3.7 -8.9
20140901 -14 -30.3 -8.8 -9.9
2019 -16 -39.8 -34.4 -15.9

At the end of 2014  the Cubs had an almost identical final record to White Sox in 2019.  Unlike the 2019 White Sox, Cubs took a sudden trip to the cellar that year. Let’s look at top Cubs players that season to see how that compares with 2019 White Sox.

Top Cubs 2014

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+041+ 4.33 Jake_Arrieta_CHN PITCH
+050+ 3.93 Anthony_Rizzo_CHN 1B
+131+ 2.33 Kyle_Hendricks_CHN PITCH
+134+ 2.31 Neil_Ramirez_CHN PITCH
+054+ 2.21 Jeff_Samardzija_CHN PITCH
+147+ 2.14 Pedro_Strop_CHN PITCH
+162+ 1.91 Hector_Rondon_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.85 Jason_Hammel_CHN PITCH
XXXXX 1.11 Jorge_Soler_CHN RF

Players in bold break top 200 next season.  One of them wins a Cy Young award.  Cubs acquire Lester, bring up Bryant late April, Kyle Schwarber mid June and the rest of the team didn’t suck allowing Cubs to win NLDS.  The next season they played even better.

No one can predict the future however.

END OF UPDATE