A big pile of White Sox notes

Just give Alexei Ramirez the Gold Glove already. I don't say this because he did anything specifically tremendous defensively Tuesday night, but because I presume these awards are won with surprisingly angry campaigns that startle voters into hastily checking the error totals, then complying out of fear.

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September call-ups preview

Who is coming to make this more watchable?

The White Sox have lost six games in a row, and have the sixth-worst run differential and baseball. We knew they would be bad this year...and they're bad! So, what's next? Rosters are expanding, there's still no left-hander on the roster and Dayan Viciedo made a somewhat justified start on Sunday. Let's see what we can do here.

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Where Did The Offense Go?

After a 10-8 victory over the Twins on August 1st, the White Sox pulled their record to 54-56. Since then they have gone 5-13 while scoring 3.17 runs per game during that time. Take out an 11-run outburst against the Toronto Blue Jays and they have managed 2.71 runs on average in the other 17 games. Offense is certainly down league-wide this year, but that kind of production just isn't good enough. For reference, the 99-loss 2013 White Sox averaged 3.69 runs per game. So what's going on? Isn't the cliché that bats heat up in the hotter summer months?

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Carlos Sanchez's big chance

To have written about the White Sox in the past five years is to have mulled what's up with Gordon Beckham, what's happened to Gordon Beckham, what went wrong with Gordon Beckham, and whether it has become time to get rid of Gordon Beckham. He just stayed and stayed and kept staying, begging you to weigh in on his status. Nick gave in just earlier this week. His verdict: Good gosh, get rid of Gordon Beckham already.

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Gordon Beckham traded for unspecified things, persons or household goods

There was probably no getting anything huge in return for Beckham this season. Then he went and removed the "probably." When it's cash considerations or a player to be named later, the player usually winds up being someone fans care about as much as they care about the team getting paid a couple hundred thousand dollars.

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What if the 2004 White Sox stayed healthy?

It's What If week at the mothership, prompting a lot of wondering of what kind of wonderful and interesting things could have happened if ideal conditions had held up for just a bit longer. What if the 1994 strike hadn't happened? is a fun one for White Sox fans. Here, we'll even do that one for free real quick right now: The Sox would have won the 'effin World Series. That's what would have happened.

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Gordon Beckham Should Not Be Back Next Year

I bought on Gordon Beckham. Hard. In 2008, the White Sox had their highest draft pick since Alex Fernandez in 1990 on the heels of their awful 2007 season. I was as invested in the draft as I'd ever been, and I was really, really excited. I was even more excited when they got the player I hoped they would, and the pundits felt the same way. His first year of pro ball he annihilated the minors and less than one year after being drafted, he changed positions, burst into the majors and just kept hitting. Beckham had a short, quick, simple swing that generated tons of opposite field power. In the back of your head you were thinking, "This is a guy who will hit 50 doubles and could play shortstop." Then everything went wrong.

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Conor Gillaspie--You wouldn't dare get rid of this guy

Some narratives turn like the Titanic.

Conor Gillaspie, who we mostly hoped could play well enough to be traded for someone playable by mid-June, is garnering articles of praise. Not effusive praise, but more acknowledgement that he's earned his keep and should probably enter the next season as a presumed starter.

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Avisail returns, to right where he started

It wouldn't be great for the online user experience and probably not foster much "brand satisfaction," but a fair analysis of Avisail Garcia's return could be "he's healthy, so who cares?"

Avisail Garcia thirstily tried to stretch an eighth inning double into a triple Sunday. In the immediate wake of him being thrown out by several feet and slapped with a tag so casual and relaxed it actually drew a replay, there was a myriad of things to assess. He had hit the ball with extra-base authority to right field again, and the effort to third showed no hesitance from Garcia, even if it was inconclusive about whether his sluggish April speed was a permanent new condition or a week of being cold in the Midwest.

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The Trajectory of Carlos Rodon

It's been announced that Carlos Rodon has been promoted to the Charlotte Knights of AAA and that he will be the starting pitcher for Tuesday's game. Parallels to Chris Sale will inevitably be drawn. The reasons why are obvious, generally superficial, and often misleading - but in the end it is up to Rodon to determine how accurate they are.

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Important stuff from a fun-enough 7-5 rubber match win over Toronto

There's an identity that we want to understand the 2014 White Sox under, in which Sunday's 7-5 triumph in the rubber match against a desperate and hungry Blue Jays team fits perfectly. The White Sox flashed dizzying, game-changing offensive potential, had their lack of pitching depth exposed by both starter and reliever performance, and did just enough to keep the watching fun and not sort of tragic. Six games under .500, obviously the prototypical 2014 White Sox game would seem to be a loss, and their offense's season performance does not live up to the ideals their juggernaut April inspired, but the Sox have had less than 10 games where their young offensive core of Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, and yeah, Conor Gillaspie have been operating at once. They didn't build on that total Sunday, but a seven-run outburst stoked its legend all the same.

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Important Stuff From 6-3 Loss To Toronto

This is one of those games that a rebuilding team can manage to enjoy even though the result was a loss. By far the most important thing is that Avisail Garcia returned from the DL, and in fact went 2/4 on the night. Far less important is the return of Matt Lindstrom's return from the DL. Unfortunately, he was knocked around - but there's a silver lining here as well.

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Important stuff from an 11-5 Avisail Eve victory over the Blue Jays

The night of Avisail Eve--where Robin Ventura has said before the game that Garcia would possibly re-join the team this weekend and Garcia didn't play in Charlotte--brought wonder and mystery to every outfield substitution. Why did Moises Sierra replace Dayan Viciedo in right field the fifth? Wait, why did Leury Garcia replace Sierra in right field in the ninth? Wait, are either of these substitutions significant? They're not getting traded! Also they're both hurt, Viciedo in particular was supposedly dizzy, probably from being made to score from first base on a Conor Gillaspie double in the first inning.

There was also a late-August baseball game going on. There were tons of singles. More from the White Sox, though.

Box Score

  • This is why you want to try to miss bats kids. The Blue Jays actually did alright, whiffing 10 out of the 45 White Sox hitters who came to the plate on the night. But they went down behind a barrage of 17 hits, 14 of them singles, most of which were kind of just casually slapped into play and through a hapless Toronto infield. Jose Abreu served up three hits and managed to lower his slugging percentage. Dayan Viciedo had two hits, a walk, and two runs knocked in and didn't get a good swing on a ball all game. Jordan Danks knocked Marcus Stroman out of the game in the first inning with an RBI single that bounced four times in the infield. It was dink and dunk nightmare.
  • Stroman is a good young pitcher who shall be around for quite a while. In two starts against the White Sox, he's been pulled so his relief could immediately cough up a go-ahead home run to Viciedo, and had the Sox go 4-6 with a HBP with runners in scoring position off him. He allowed five runs in 0.2 innings and punched his glove a lot.
  • Pitching in front of his parents, Hector Noesi was either nervous or newly aware that he lacks reliable off-speed pitches. If not for Stroman, Noesi throwing nearly 50 pitches in the first two innings, and leaving the bases loaded with no one out in the sixth would have gotten more scorn. He brought the game it's only close moment by allowing a two-run bomb to Melky Caberera to bring the score to 5-4 in the second. It was about an hour into the game, so it felt more significant. He wound up gritting his teeth for five-plus innings and ate some innings with it.
  • The loopy score allowed Robin Ventura to clean out the bullpen and they pitched---really well? Javy Guerra jumped into a bases-juiced, no one out situation in the sixth and escaped with just one run on an RBI double play. Maikel Cleto pitched over two infield dribbler hits and actually got someone to chase one his sliders in the dirt, and Daniel Webb pitched a perfect ninth. It was kind of disquieting.
  • Alejandro De Aza, thrust into the spotlight at the top of the lineup as Adam Eaton sits on the bench, now has his OBP up to .315 after reaching base three more times. That .315 mark is just three points down from the league-average. 
  • Avisail could come back soon.

Team Record: 58-63

Next game is Saturday at 6:10pm CT on CSN vs. Toronto.

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No room for interpretation

If I can even try to care about something related to baseball after the day's events, it's the measure of sympathy I feel for the MLB umpires in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon, waiting for Robin Ventura to stop kicking dirt on the plate, or realizing it's the only respite from bouts of screaming and spitting at them and wishing he'd kick for longer, or thinking about which one of his veins they'd focus on to keep from bursting out laughing.

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Important stuff from a 7-1 LOLcopter crash in San Francisco

That was something. And then it wasn't! And then it was something else entirely, and it became that new thing with an intensity entirely ill-fitting of a Wednesday afternoon game. After around 10 minutes of review of a new rule that no one has a clue how to interpret, Jose Quintana went from one out away from seven shutout frames in San Francisco--kinda as impressive as kicking over an empty trash can, but still an important task--to watching Ronald Belisario lay waste to rational disorder. Again.

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Maybe Paul Konerko has been worth it this year? Kinda?

I like eating my own words. It's a fun exercise. No special interest group ever writes huffy emails about the severity with which I went in on my previous self, It's an excuse to make the post even more about myself, and since everyone on the baseball internet is the aggrieved representative of the cruddy player they were personally excited for, usually I only have to eat my words for happy reasons. Someone was vaguely more productive than I though they would be--I must commit hari-kiri.

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The Carlos Rodon Inevitability

Eric Surkamp was demoted Sunday night after a month and a half of dreadful performances. His being optioned is ostensibly to clear the way for recovered bullpen regular Matt Lindstrom, but giving the boot to the relief corps' only left-hander always has its own special level of rebuke. Robin Ventura's words were not very complimentary, which is appropriate but somewhat disappointing, because I wanted to see if The King of Magnanimity could come up with a kind word about someone with an ERA that matched the name of a national convenience store chain

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