White Sox: Dog Days of August Didn’t Wait For South Siders

Ryan Bukowiecki is a student at the Illinois Media School and a contributor to The D & Davis Show and WARR where he follows the White Sox

Another tough week unfolded for the South Siders as losses have been tallying up.

In the Chicago White Sox’s last 10 games, this slowly rebuilding club put together a 2-8 record. On top of the everyday grind the Sox had a visceral injury scare with Yoan Moncada as he collided with teammate Willy García on Monday. Losing is never fun but there is a good reason for the Sox to lose as they are a good contender for the No. 1 draft pick in 2018.

Also, fans will get a chance to see more of the team’s elite prospects since August is moving by quickly and that means September call-ups are right around the corner. All the while Eloy Jimenez keeps playing Superman (or Babe Ruth at least) down in Advanced A Winston-Salem.

The Moncada Scare

Yoan Moncada returned to the lineup on Thursday after being out with a knee injury from Monday’s game. This was a huge relief to all Sox fans as Moncada will not need to miss extended time and that there wasn’t any structural damage to the knee he put into Willy Garcia’s head. Unfortunately Garcia did not the same luck, his next move was to the concussion protocol and he was later diagnosed with a fractured jaw, recovery is expected to last 4-6 weeks.

Surrounding the injury scare for the Sox’s latest wunderkind is a continued slump he’s been in since being called up.

Moncada’s slash line is a very low .136 AVG/.309 OBP/.273 SLG for an OPS of just .582 — not good at all. Struggles are expected for Moncada so overall there is no reason to panic. And if fans are looking for positives, his defense has been a plus to his overall WAR. Moncada has a .1 WAR, which is surprising since his offensive numbers suggest he is a net negative to the team currently. When Moncada is able to break through offensively, he will be really fun to watch.

News Around The Farm

In good news for the Sox, a couple players have been tearing up the minors. Eloy Jimenez has been stellar so far in 20 games with the Dash (Advanced A), Jimenez’s slash line is a whopping .352 AVG/.418 OBP/.690 SLG for an OPS of 1.108, that is straight fire. Jimenez will most likely be moved to Double A Birmingham soon — Sox fans he is on his way.

Besides Jimenez’s awesome streak, pitcher Reynaldo Lopez has been having a good go as of late. July was great for Lopez, in 5 games he had an ERA of 2.10 and a WHIP of .90. Lopez also seems like he is about ready to make the jump to the major league club in September, his month of August will factor into the decision to call him up. In his first August start this past Tuesday, Lopez went 5 IP giving up 2 ER on 3 H with 3 BB and 5 K.

Long Live The Melk Man

On Sunday, just before the MLB trade deadline, the Sox traded away fan favorite Melky Cabrera to the Royals for two minor league prospects.

The two prospects — A.J. Puckett and Andre Davis — are both are in Single A. Puckett is the prized prospect in the deal according to MLBPipeline.com, he is currently ranked as the 25th best prospect in the Sox system. Puckett’s weaponry includes a really good change up, a low to mid 90s fastball with some plus movement and a curve that lacks consistency.

Puckett is good with his approach to the plate: he uses both sides and keeps the ball low in the strike zone. His delivery is good, using a lot of different angles with his size to through off hitters and many consider his pitching IQ to be outstanding. Puckett projects as a back end of the rotation starter, scouts believe his development may be faster than expected and could potentially place him in the Sox roster in 2019.

As for Melky, he could return back at some point, but if he is done with the Sox, he leaves Chicago after a solid stint that made him into a favorite among fans. Melky was signed as a free agent before the 2015 season and was seen to be a key contributor to a hopeful contender. It didn’t workout for the Sox and Melky but now he has a chance to contend with the Royals.

Cabrera’s career slash line with the Sox was a .287 AVG/.331 OBP/.427 SLG for an OPS of .758. On top of that he had 39 HR and 219 RBIs in 2.5 seasons. In his last game with the Sox, Cabrera went 4 for 5 with a double in an appropriate sendoff.

The trade of Melky was the last trade the Sox made before the non waiver deadline and wraps up the current phase of trading away all the major pieces from as recently as the 2016 season.

Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanbski; Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under We Are Regal Radio

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