MLB: Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers

White Sox Season in Review: Tyler Saladino

Over the next few weeks, BP South Side will be reviewing the performance of all 51 players who suited up for the 2017 White Sox. Players whose seasons were particularly noteworthy will get their own standalone article, while smaller contributors or those who were traded/cut will be grouped together. We’ll do our best to summarize and analyze what each player brought to this year’s club, what we learned, didn’t learn, and what it all means for his future with the team.

This was finally supposed to be Tyler Saladino’s big year. He was finally fully recovered from his litany of injuries. He was a league-average bat in 2016, capable of playing anywhere in the infield. And Brett Lawrie, his main competition for playing time, had been non-tendered (and ultimately disappeared from baseball). Sure, Tim Anderson is already in Chicago and Yoan Moncada wasn’t long for Charlotte but second base (and then the super utility role) were his to lose. Things were finally looking up!

Until they weren’t. When the best month of your season’s hitting line is .221/.329/.294, it’s safe to say you’re maybe not having the best of years. Power has always been the weakest aspect of Saladino’s game, so starting the season with six extra base hits over the first two months was extremely concerning. Turns out there was a reason for it, as the Sox placed him on the disabled list with back spasms at the end of May.

Saladino would see no action again until a six game rehab stint in Charlotte in July. His numbers upon returning were no better than before the month plus of rest and his final stats were depressing: .178/.254/.229 with a TAv of .181.

It’s not entirely fair to judge someone whose back is clearly unhealthy’s season solely on statistics. No one is going to be able to hit with that kind of injury. But you also can’t just ignore it going forward. This is a potentially career-wrecking situation and the main thing to hope for from Saladino in 2018 is that he’s fully healthy.

Lead Photo Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

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1 comment on “White Sox Season in Review: Tyler Saladino”


I love Tyler Salidino the guy. And the player.
And I hope he can put something together sometime in the minors or korea or whatever.

But he can’t stay on the 40 man after this year, right?

He wasn’t just bad and injured this year, he was epically bad and injured. Worse, he was *consistently* bad, and he was injured in one of the kinds of ways that tends to stick around long-term.

-0.9 bWARP in only 79 games.
And -1.2 fWAR, for a dollar value of more than negative 9 million dollars in value. Include the league minimum salary and Saladino was worth negative 10 million. In 2017 James Shields was worth -12 million cumulatively, on an 11 million dollar contract.

And based on injuries and history, of the two, James Shields is much more likely to be a productive part of the 2018 White Sox than Tyler is.

One more lamentable fact about Saladino’s no good very bad season: he was never good at all in the year. You can’t point to any time he played or thing he did and see good.

Check the splits:

He was bad when he played 2nd, 3rd, and shortstop while still somehow being even worse when he DHed. Shifts actually helped him because he was so bad against a standard defense. He was very bad against lefties (59 wRC+) but exceptionally bad against righties (19 wRC+).

And, worst of all, he was bad in every single month. Throughout the season, he only had 2 weeks where he played more than one good game… Aug 28 – Sep 3 he went 4 for 13 with a run scored, and the very first week of the season he was 4 for 18 with a double. That’s it. Those were his only good weeks of the whole year.

I love him. I love his stach. I love his laugh. But he’s gotta go away for a while. Probably forever.

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