If you’re like me, you haven’t really enjoyed this season of White Sox baseball all that much. Even by the low bar of “rebuilding year,” the White Sox have stunk. As of writing, the White Sox are 16-36, putting themselves on pace for 112 losses with a winning percentage of just .308. Both of those would be the worst in franchise history. So, amidst the daily doom and gloom the season has brought, I’ve taken solace by entertaining myself with comparisons of White Sox players to different things, my personal favorite being the Milky Way Galaxy.
For instance, Jose Abreu is like the Sun. His steadying presence and warmth gives hope and life to the Earth (White Sox Fans). Day-in and day-out, Abreu is there, working hard to outshine all the other stars in the galaxy, constantly reminding us that he’s going to be here tomorrow when things finally get better.
Yoan Moncada is like the Blue Giant, Rigel. The brightest star in the constellation of Orion. A star capable of producing as much as 120,000 times the luminosity output of the sun. But also a dangerous and volatile star that may vaporize itself completely (because of its large K-rate) and wipe out everything in its sector of the galaxy.
Carson Fulmer is…well, Carson Fulmer is currently like the hypothetical Brown Dwarf star, Nemesis, that sits at the edge of our solar system, occasionally flinging comets and asteroids toward the inner planets with limited accuracy. Every now and then, an asteroid is so wild that it crashes into the Earth and ends 90% of life on the planet (bye-bye dinosaurs), but most of the time the star just sits there, too dim to see from Earth, needing to refine its aim and make sure it’s only throwing its asteroids into deep space.
All this introduction brings me to the White Sox player I want to talk about today: Yolmer Sanchez. Sanchez has repeatedly been a bright spot on an otherwise dim team. A little over a week ago, he had a big night against the Orioles, tallying three hits, including the go-ahead single in the eighth inning. Yesterday, the White Sox were only able to muster 4 hits off of Indians starter Mike Clevenger, but, of course, Yolmer was one of them, hitting a triple and raising his slash line to a very solid .280/.316/.415 on the season, good enough for a TAv of .254. Aside from Yolmer’s value as a positive contributor in the clubhouse (and excellent Gatorade user), it seems like he’s been on the White Sox forever, but he won’t turn 26 until late June. Throw in a solid bat, and most importantly, his defensive versatility, and you have potentially a very valuable player to future White Sox teams. So many would-be contenders see their seasons get derailed by injuries to important players. The major league baseball season is a grind, and rarely do players make it all the way through the whole year without bumps and bruises. This is why teams need a guy like Yolmer, who can cover multiple positions and provide positive value, instead of replacement or below replacement value, in times of need. Players like Yolmer help steady teams when everything appears ready to collapse.
That’s why Yolmer is the Moon of tomorrow’s White Sox. The Moon is incredibly important to the Earth. Its gravitational pull steadies the Earth’s own axial tilt and prevents sections of the Earth from spending decades in ice ages that would wipe out life as we know it. Without the Moon, the Earth may not have ever developed life nor been able to sustain it.
A player like Sanchez helps fill a void when a star goes down and prevents a black hole from forming and destroying the Earth. Yolmer may not provide the energy that the Sun does, and he doesn’t shine as bright as Rigel, but Yolmer adds stability, which is incredibly important for any team trying to compete. As Ben Franklin once said: “a small leak will sink a great ship.” We’ve seen past White Sox teams sink to the very bottom of the ocean because they’ve had no depth. In 2016, Austin Jackson went down and the White Sox had to turn to JB Shuck to horrific results. In 2012 Brent Morel was very bad and the White Sox had to turn first to the shell of Orlando Hudson (yikes) before trading for what was left in Kevin Youkilis’ bat. However, with Yolmer in the fold, the White Sox can rest a little easier knowing they have injury insurance for any of their future infielders. There’s still a long way to go to get back to the playoffs, but having a player like Yolmer helps ensure that the White Sox can sustain life once they find a way to create it. With this season as bleak as it has been, it’s necessary to recognize some of the small victories the White Sox find along the way. Sanchez has turned himself into one of those victories, and we should all take a little time to appreciate what he has done and will do for the White Sox.
Lead Image Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports