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White Sox Wed Apr 28 2010

How The Sox Can Fix Their Hitting Problem Or A Defense Of Carlos Quentin

SoxLogoSmall.jpegYesterday's 4-2 loss will no doubt bring yet another wave of suggestions on how the Sox can improve in hitting and pitching. But wait, how can a team that leads the American League in homeruns and stolen bases have a hitting problem? The problem must be elsewhere!

Well no, it's possible if the team scores runs from homeruns and stolen bases almost exclusively, which is exactly what's happening. Not that you can blame the Sox, nobody is hitting a respectable .300 right now, not even Paul Konerko who leads the AL in homeruns. This is the only way to do it until sluggers like Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham realize their full potential. Right now there's no consistent hitter in the White Sox lineup besides Konerko with his homeruns. A team can't win like that. There are hits though, just not from anyone in partcular. One day it'll be Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones, the next it'll be Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin.

Ah yes, Quentin. I've seen a fair amount of grumbling about Quentin, all of which is deserved. Right now Quentin is hitting a subpar .162. That's really bad, although not as bad as it would appear when you compare Quentin's batting averages with the White Sox in the last few years. In 2008 he hit .288, in 2009 Quentin's average was .236. Now it's even lower. The truth is that Quentin's been on the decline his entire White Sox career. Why should the Sox keep him?

Well, because of what I call "Peavy Optimism," basically could he get much worse? That's doubtful. What's more, Quentin's numbers don't quite give him enough credit. Of the current South Siders lineup, Quentin leads in runs, is right smack in the middle on base percentage, and is third with homeruns, behind Konerko and the oftentimes pleasantly surprising Andruw Jones. So if it's time to do some roster cutting, it shouldn't start with Quentin. Sure, he's not at the front of the American League's pack in anything or even in the lead among the White Sox, but by Peavy logic things are looking up.

Image by Michelle Dimuzio.

 
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