Nothing in 2020 has gone according to plan, but the beginning of the White Sox’ season went about as well as they could have hoped. After a rocky first start, Lucas Giolito is back to dominating. Luis Robert hit a ball 115 mph in his first game (more on that later) and trails only Mike
Trout Yastrzemski on the fWAR leaderboard. On Tuesday, the South Siders extended a winning streak to six games, but they have, for a time, lost Nick Madrigal.
Madrigal separated his shoulder sliding into third base and will miss the better part of August. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was optimistic that Madrigal would be back by the end of the month, but that still means that he’s missing about half the season. Hahn also admitted that Madrigal might need surgery in the offseason.
Nick Madrigal separated his left shoulder last night. Rick Hahn is optimistic that he'll be able to return at the end of this month. Might need surgery in offseason.— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) August 5, 2020
The contact maven’s major league career is only five games old. Though his numbers in that small sample are uncharacteristic of him (he’s already struck out twice; he struck out 21 times in his minor league career), Madrigal figures to be a major part of the next good White Sox team (which might be the 2020 White Sox!). FanGraphs ranked him 41st overall and praised his elite defense.
If it were only Madrigal going down, Chicago might be able to keep the knob set at “Not what you want” rather than “Oh no,” or even “Panic!” Edwin Encarnación also injured his shoulder Tuesday night though his injury is less severe and he’s listed as day-to-day. Carlos Rodón, who appeared to turn a corner last season before getting Tommy John, also went on the 10-day IL. Reynaldo López, who is always on the verge of putting things together, only pitched two-thirds of an inning before going down with injury.
Ahead of the expanded playoffs, the White Sox can breathe a little easier knowing and that their injured players should be back before October. They just need to make it first.
Dan Szymborski | FanGraphs: Since Canada is barring the Blue Jays from playing their home games in Toronto, the team will instead call Sahlen Field in Buffalo home for 2020. Dan Szymborski took a look at how the park will play.
Eno Sarris | The Athletic $: Shane Bieber’s new/old pitch is getting a lot of attention, but he’s just one of many pitchers to add a new weapon in the long, long offseason.
Russell Carleton | Baseball Prospectus $: The extra innings runner on second rule is as unpopular as it is effective. Though each team starts their at bats with the same advantages, extra inning contests are shortened. How exactly does that work? Russell Carleton has your answer.