Chicago White Sox
The Mariners take on the White Sox for the second time this season this weekend. In the first series, the M's took two of three and outscored the palehose 29-17. But that was in April. Ah, the good old days. Seattle's roster looks quite different now than it did then—just six players that appeared in the last game vs. the Sox are active with the M's now (Mallex Smith, Dee Gordon, Omar Narváez, Dylan Moore, Wade LeBlanc, and Daniel Vogelbach) and the season that then looked surprisingly promising is now a sad disappointment.
Chicago's team hasn't changed much since then, though. They aren't going to the postseason either—they're 18 games under .500 and lodged firmly in third place—and should be an interesting matchup for the current Mariners. Leading the Sox attack is shortstop Tim Anderson, who is finally living up to the expectations of his first-round draft selection in 2013. Now in his fourth big-league season, Anderson leads the league with a .333 batting average; he's also slugging over .500, over 100 points better than his previous years' numbers. All-Star catcher James McCann, first baseman José Abreu, and switch-hitting outfielder Leury García are solid supporting players, and third-sacker Yoan Moncada has come from nowhere to be a force in the lineup. Last year Moncada led the league in Ks (217!) and hit just .235/.315/.400, pretty much what he'd done in his rookie campaign the year before; this season he's a new man, batting .302/.360/.529 with 23 homers. He still strikes out a lot, but he's cut way down on both Ks and walks in favor of solid contact.
Like the Mariners, the Sox are less impressive when it comes to pitching. In this series they're scheduled to start Dylan Covey, rookie Dylan Cease, and veteran Ivan Nova, none of whom will strike fear in the hearts of anyone. Covey is just 1-8 and struggling to keep his ERA under 8.00; Cease isn't much better at 3-7, 6.53; and Nova, who's already lost to the M's once this year, is having one of his worst years yet at 10-12, 4.69, and a league-leading 204 hits surrendered. The bullpen has a couple of decent arms in it, though, with former Mariner Alex Colomé and the unfortunately-named Aaron Bummer anchoring the back end; otherwise it resembles Seattle's scratch-and-dent-sale hodgepodge of no-names and has-beens.
The M's will go with Yusei Kikuchi, Felix Hernández, and Justus Sheffield. Kikuchi pitched very well his last time out, a five-inning no-decision against Houston, but has yet to out together a string of positive results; King Felix has really struggled since his return from the injured list; and Sheffield has shown improvement in each successive start he's made since his promotion to the big leagues.
Mariners vs. Dylan Covey (CAREER)
Mariners vs. Dylan Cease (CAREER)
Mariners vs. Iván Nova (CAREER)
|vs. AL West||12-18|
Who’s Hot & Not
Last ten games
.459/.533/.649, 5 XBH, 4 RBI, 2 SB
.303/.432/.758, 7 XBH, 13 RBI
.400/.426/.644, 7 XBH, 5 RBI
.103/.300/.138, 1 2B, 6 RBI
.222/.239/.244, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 16 K
.185/.267/.296, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 10 K
Last 3 series vs. Seattle
|4/7/19||SEA 12, CWS 5|
|4/6/19||SEA 9, CWS 2|
|4/5/19||CWS 10, SEA 8|
|6/22/18||SEA 8, CWS 2|
|6/21/18||CWS 5, SEA 0|
|6/20/18||SEA 3, CWS 1|
|4/25/18||SEA 4, CWS 3|
|4/24/18||SEA 1, CWS 0|
|4/23/18||CWS 10, SEA 4|
Rick Renteria: This is Renteria's third year managing the Chisox, and so far he's lost 95 games and 100 games. This year he might better that 95 loss mark, but maybe not; the Chicago rebuild figures to continue for another couple of years with marginal improvements. Sox fans seem to be sympathetic to Renteria's situation, based on a Twitter poll conducted by a Chicago radio station that showed 74% of respondents approving of his job performance. Renteria is known as one of the game's ultimate nice guys, but he isn't lacking in competitive fire—he's been known to bench guys for not running out an easy ground ball or for distracted play in the field. “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness,” he said. First baseman/DH José Abreu elaborated on that, saying the Sox manager “is straightforward with his players. If he has something to get across, he will go to you and tell you to your face.”
Renteria is one of only two people to have managed both Chicago teams (Johnny Evers, of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance fame, is the other). Prior to being hired to run the White Sox, he spent a year at the helm of the crosstown Cubs, taking them to a 73-89 season before being fired in favor of current Cubs skipper Joe Maddon.
As a player, Renteria spent 43 games of his brief big-league career as a Mariner in 1987-'88. He performed as you might expect a reserve on the '80s M's to do, posting a .194/.218/.296 line.
Welington Castillo: Remember this guy? The Chicago catcher spent two weeks as a Mariner in 2015, having been brought in via mid-season trade to help a lineup featuring a struggling Mike Zunino at catcher, but he wasn't given a chance. After all of six appearances, Castillo was traded again, shipped off to the Diamondbacks (with reliever Dominic Leone) for middle reliever Vidal Nuño and defensive liability Mark Trumbo.
Nicknamed "Beef," Castillo signed with the Sox as a free agent before last season, then promptly failed a PED test and was suspended for 80 games. To his credit, Castillo did not take the "I didn't know I did anything wrong" approach a lot of guys have taken when caught using PEDs, he owned up to it in full and served his time without appeal. Castillo's suspension allowed current Mariner catcher Omar Narváez to claim the starting catcher's job last year, giving him another M's connection.
|Chicago White Sox||(1901 - present)|
|World Champions:||1906, 1917, 2005|
|League Champions:||1919, 1959|
|Division Titles:||1983, 1993, 2000, 2008|
Lucas Giolito: Giolito's uncle is television writer Mark Frost, co-creator of the cult favorite Twin Peaks.