The biggest trigger for fans this baseball season were La Russa’s questionable decisions (he let Matt Foster throw almost 40 pitches against Seattle) and his lineup construction. Of course everyone has a different opinion about the composition of their team. The fun part of baseball is debating with other fans about who will play, but it’s different than in the past.
For starters, the White Sox are expected to contend for the World Series title, but fans won’t necessarily know that based on the fact that part of La Russa’s team is being released every day. White Sox fans can complain about the composition of the roster, but unless general manager Rick Hahn makes sudden trades, the roster is set for the trade deadline (aside from players expected to return from injuries and related moves). However, the current and most pressing problem is La Russa.
Many fans, even those who pick on the White Sox and their most defensive, had at least something to say about Tuesday’s lineup. Here’s why:
Nick Williams, who the White Sox signed as a back-end pitcher in January, looks to be the most important player in the lineup when facing right-handed pitchers. Jake Lamb, who the White Sox signed on the 30th. March was preferred, after the injury of Eloy Jimenez, to the excellent Yermin Mercedes as designated hitter. In the end, Andrew Vaughn did not make the list.
According to Gregor Scotsman of the Daily Herald, Tony La Russa had this to say about Vaughan’s playing time:
Clearly, Vaughn, who has a wRC+ of 104 and an OBP of .400, has not earned his spot at the plate.
Nick Williams, who has a wRC+ of 55 and an OBP of .333, has earned his place in the game. Because he’s 27 and hit well in 2017, he gets more at-bats than the highest-ranked guy in the White Sox system.
Jake Lamb, who played for the Arizona Diamondbacks when La Russa was the team’s general manager, gets the nod over Vaughn because he was also good in 2017.
With Billy Hamilton, who the White Sox traded on the 16th. By contracting March, who is now on the injured list along with Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez and Adam Engel, La Russa cannot add another player to one of the most promising young players the White Sox will see in the near future. The only thing left for Vaughn to do is win at Bats before the cheers of major league players who can make it to the KBO next season.
Building alignment is important, no matter what some people say. Two players who don’t even belong on this list, and to have them play fifth, and as a designated hitter, is about as bad as a manager can get in an offensive line.
Conclusion? Andrew Vaughn should play. Otherwise, there is no reason for him to be on this list with a single move. He got a spot on the roster, and with it. He’s the best option in left field unless the White Sox trade a really great player. Given the White Sox’s current roster, the front office needs to step in immediately and take the reins. If they don’t, La Russa will continue to embarrass a team that should be competing, both inside and out. After all, it is 2021.
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