Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Bringing The Beard To The Windy City

Photo: Arturo Pardavila III; Flickr

After coming off an 89 loss season and a young core almost ready to make its way to the show, the White Sox needed to make a move this offseason. They ended 2019 strong with the signing of Dallas Keuchel to a 3 year $55.5MM deal, with an option for 2023. They also inked veteran catcher Yasmani Grandal to a 4 year $73MM deal, largest contract in franchise history. They now have a strong veteran presence for the young Starting Pitchers with plenty of experience in both the regular season and the postseason. He may not be the hero they deserve, but the hero they need right now.

Keuchel was a mid season signing by the Atlanta Braves in 2019. A season that saw big names not being signed until late in the offseason; in Keuchel’s case, not until June. He pitched well in the NL for the half season he played, but in this article we are going to look back to his 2018 season, where he pitched in the AL. Amassing a 3.3 fWAR, he was still a pretty average pitcher. Right on line with the league average, he had a LOB% of 72.8%. His GB% and HARD% were significantly better than average, 53.7% and 28.1% respectively.

What’s really going to matter is how well he will perform against his new division rivals. In 7 games against the AL Central, he was able to go 39 IP, giving up only 1HR, while striking out 35, with a 2.70 FIP. He did very well against the Royals and the Tigers. In 18 IP, he did not give up a single earned run. With a HARD% of 16.1% and a GB% of 51.8% they were not making great contact off him. The Indians were the team to take advantage of him, leading him to a 3.71 FIP and a .351 BABIP in only 10 IP. He was able to keep the ball on the ground at a high rate against them at 60.5%, though. They were hitting him hard compared to the 3 other teams, 31.6% vs 16.3%. The new offensive powerhouse of the AL Central is the Twins. They are not the team he was able to hold to a 2.56 FIP and 16.7 HARD%, while holding a 10.8 K/9 vs them. If he can fix his struggles against the Indians, while also keeping the Twins at bay, he can be a solid 2 starter behind a solid Ace in Lucas Giolito.

Grandal is the catcher the White Sox need to get their team going. Coming off a great year year he amassed a 5.2 fWAR. With a BB% of 17.2%, a .222 ISO, and a wRC+ of 121, and a 12.6 Off, he was the best offensive Catcher in 2019. He did allow 8 Errors, all were throwing, in 1095.2 innings, still good for a.993 FP. Tied with Realmuto(PHI), he was able to start 11 double plays and only allow 8 passed balls. Second to only Realmuto, he was able to amass a 23.4 DEF. He is going to be a great veteran presence not only for the young pitching staff the Sox currently have, but also a breath of fresh air for Keuchel.

All stats per FanGraphs unless noted.

Michael Flores

Born on the South Side of Chicago, writing about the White Sox. Manage 2 dynasty teams and a yearly redraft team, also a Little League team. Follow me on Twitter @mpflores90