Pitching limits White Sox season
The White Sox finished the season 83-79 and third in the AL Central. Although they missed the playoffs, the Sox did improve their win totals by 9 games over 2015 and posted their first winning season since 2012.
The team hit .276/.327/.418 and scored 768 runs. Overall they hit 160 home-runs with Wilmer Flores leading with 28. Flores also led the team in OPS and in wRC+ and has to be considered the breakout player of the year for the team. Hank Conger led the team with 5.3 WAR followed by Leury Garcia and Wilmer Flores. Leury Garcia was able to steal 34 bases in 43 attempts to lead the team.
The pitching staff gave up 737 runs, 675 of them earned for a team ERA of 4.21 and a FIP 4.00. The starters struggled and had an ERA of 4.56, managing only 3 complete games and 1 shutout. Jose Quintana led with 35 starts and winning 14 and losing 9 posting 3.83 ERA and a 3.9 WAR. The bullpen had 49 saves and an ERA of 3.56. Zach Putnam locked down the closer role and had 38 of the 49 saves and an ERA of 3.49 while only blowing 5 saves.
Defensively the White Sox struggled with Hank Conger, Leury Garcia and Austin Jackson being the only bright spots. Conger proved to be a great off-season pickup and was spectacular backstop for the team. He posted a 5.6 Z-Rating and throwing out 38% of the batters who tried to steal on him. Although he started the season on the disabled list, Leury Garcia proved why fans were so excited about seeing him as the everyday Shortstop. He posted a Z-Rating of 6.8 at shortstop and helped turn 49 double plays, committing only 7 Errors in 129 starts.
In summary GM Jeff Copeland had this to say: “When we spoke at the beginning of the year I told you I felt that if everything broke our way we could win the pennant, things didn’t break our way. We made some moves to try to maximize our chances during the season and nothing seemed to be able to push us to the top. I’m proud of this team. We were not eliminated officially from the playoffs until the final week, and we fought hard all year long. I’m proud of this team and I’m excited about the future.”
When asked what the plans for the off-season were Copeland said “We have to look at everything. Jerry Jr. and I will meet after the World Series and we’ll see where we go from here. I know this, we plan to be competitive next year and give ourselves a chance to win the Central.”