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White Sox Wed Aug 20 2014
For the White Sox, this year is all about Jose Abreu. And if it isn't about him, it's about Chris Sale.
Adam Eaton is making his name known with a strong first season in Chicago. Jose Quintana is having another quality campaign. Paul Konerko is in his last go-round, Adam Dunn is doing Adam Dunn things and Dayan Viciedo still has that hot stretch every so often that reels folks in. Alexei Ramirez is an All-Star, Carlos Rodon is in Triple-A, the bullpen stinks and Hawkeroo still homers it up.
One person that hasn't gotten much attention this season? Moises Sierra.
Acquired from the Blue Jays in May after injuries to Eaton and Avisail Garcia, Sierra has had 120 plate appearances for the White Sox this season, the 13th most on the team. He's played in 62 games for the Sox and started exactly half of them. Over the last three months, he's primarily been used as a pinch runner or defensive replacement in right field, playing plenty of games where he played in the field for one inning without even getting a trip to the plate.
Sierra has been a perfectly passable player for the Sox. His offensive stats, including his slash line of .289/.317/.430 and his 107 OPS-plus, have been average. His UZR of 0.8 is very neutral. He's been worth 0.3 WAR. He doesn't steal bases and he doesn't draw walks. He is owned in zero percent of ESPN fantasy baseball leagues.
Before last Saturday's game, Sierra was placed on the 15-day DL for a strained left oblique. It got a small mention in the local publications. Manager Robin Ventura didn't know how long he'd be out for. The team probably won't miss him because Garcia came back that day and has started every game since.
Sierra turns 26 next month, so he's neither young nor old in baseball terms. He was never a top prospect in the Blue Jays organization. He's arbitration eligible in 2017 and under team control until 2020, but those figures likely don't matter because he's a replacement-level player. If everyone on the Sox is healthy, Sierra's probably the fifth or sixth-best outfielder, so his return to the club next season is not a guarantee. Maybe he'll latch on elsewhere. Maybe not.
Why is Sierra relevant? He's not. Not in the micro or macro sense of the White Sox, MLB or baseball as a whole.
But you know what? The man is living his dream. He's still better at baseball than more than 99 percent of the people on this planet. He's playing a sport for a job and traveling the country and making some money while doing it. He's meeting new people and bonding with teammates. He could sign an autograph or pose for a picture and make a fan's day. Somewhere, an aspiring ballplayer looks to him for inspiration.
He surely has dozens of scores of good stories to tell. He's only 25 but he's lived a fuller life than many, many others.
So no, Moises Sierra isn't a main player for the 2014 White Sox. Yet he's still notable in his own way.