MLB: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox

South Side Morning 5: Opening Day Defeat

After a failed attempt to get a game in on Monday, the White Sox and Tigers kicked off 2017 on Tuesday afternoon.  If they hadn’t, MLB wouldn’t have had a single day game on the ledger so it made the day much more enjoyable, even if the game worked out badly, as the White Sox lost to Detroit 6-3.

1. Jose Quintana wasn’t good.  Specifically, he fell apart in the second inning, allowing a three-run home run to major league debut-ing JaCoby Jones and a two-run opposite field shot to Nick Castellanos. Both came after jumping ahead 0-2, which reflects a problem he had all day putting hitters away once he got to two strikes — he didn’t register a strikeout until his 16th batter faced.  He had trouble locating his curveball, which I suspect helps to explain the former.

The worst thing about Quintana’s bad outing wasn’t just that it directly caused the White Sox to lose, but it kicked off a horrible conversation about whether or not the White Sox should have desperately rushed to trade him for whatever package they could scrounge up. The idea that a player with his track record’s value would fluctuate from start to start is asinine. Also, if you’re afraid that if you keep Quintana for too long you won’t get as much as you should for him, perhaps the solution isn’t “Trading him for less than you should get for him.”

2. We were treated to a preview of how the lineup is likely to function for the foreseeable future.  The top half is pretty good, and three of the top four had multi-hit games. And granted, Justin Verlander is a tough draw, but Tim Anderson went o-for-4 with 3Ks, and even though his rookie year was a success, this was always going to be an issue he’d have to work through.

There are some pretty massive holes in this lineup, and it’s going to yield a lot of 1-2-3 innings.

3. The bullpen looks like it should be a good group, and today it posted 3.2 shutout innings after Quintana’s departure.  Jake Petricka and Zach Putnam both looked largely like their old, effective selves in their first appearances back from long absences due to injury.

If Petricka and Putnam are good again it would make it that much easier to manage the day-to-day should they trade David Robertson or Nate Jones.

4. PECOTA projects Tyler Saladino for a .305 OBP and it’s not hard to see why, given his major league track record.  But he registered two hits and a walk in his debut at the top of the lineup, and he had plus OBP seasons in the minors, so maybe if there’s more development in there from regular PAs he could beat his projections and wind up at a .330 or .340 level? Please?

5. It’s been months of rumors about Quintana to the Astros or Pirates or maybe the Yankees, and those are all logical trade partners to varying degrees.  Recently, however, the Cardinals have been floated as another suitor for Quintana’s services.  The estimable Jon Bernhardt explored the idea further, arguing that it makes a ton of sense for St. Louis and that they should have the pieces to get it done.

Quintana makes a lot of sense for a lot of teams, which — circling back to number one — is another reason why the White Sox can hold out for the right offer.

Lead Photo Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

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