Friday, April 30, 2010
Hard to see where Dye fits in Chicago
Are the White Sox struggling? Yeah. Is Jermaine Dye still out there somewhere, looking for a team that will pay him what he thinks he's worth? Again, yeah. So why hasn't this happened already? Joe Cowley has the nitty-gritty:
"Right now, I don't know where J.D. is," manager Ozzie Guillen said of the possibility of getting Dye off the unemployment line. "Our outfield is playing pretty good. I mean Carlos is struggling, but Andruw is swinging the bat good, and Alex is swinging the bat good. It makes me think, 'OK, where would I put him?'"
Dye feels he's versatile enough to fill three roles for the team.
"I can DH, play the outfield and play some first base," he said. "I still don't want to be just a DH, but I can play there at times."
Guillen isn't the one who signs the contracts, but he sounded like it at least has been discussed recently.
He guessed it would take Dye a month to be ready, and he also has thought about other regulars who could be leadoff hitters with the Juan Pierre experiment failing so far.
"I was thinking about it [Wednesday night]," Guillen said. "Teahen is the only one we might.
"He has a little bit of speed, and he takes his walks. I don't have a legit one."
Adding Dye would mean Pierre becomes a bench player, with the lineup looking like Teahen, Gordon Beckham, Jones, Paul Konerko, Dye, Quentin, Pierzynski, Rios and Alexei Ramirez.
Better? Who knows, but it couldn't get any worse.
Hey, let's not overreact here. The White Sox are 11th in the American League in scoring. Do you remember where they finished last year?
They were 12th last year, and added Juan Pierre and Mark Teahen to the lineup, along with a full season of Alex Rios and Mark Kotsay and Omar Vizquel as bench players. Was there any reason to think they would improve much this year?
Yes, regulars Pierzynski, Beckham, Ramirez, Pierre, and Quentin have all been worse than awful ... but Teahen's been better than expected, Konerko leads the league in home runs and Andruw Jones is hitting like a future Hall of Famer. On balance, the White Sox figure to hit a little better, but just a little. The real problem is their pitching, which was supposed to be excellent but ranks just 10th in ERA; starters Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, and Freddy Garcia have combined for one (1) win and a 6.88 ERA.
As for Dye, where's he going to play? Being able to "DH, play the outfield and play some first base" doesn't mean you're versatile; it means you have to out-hit the five or six other guys on the roster who are limited to those same positions.
Is Dye going to out-hit Paul Konerko? No. Andruw Jones? Probably not.
Carlos Quentin? Probably not, but Quentin's 27 and will have a long leash anyway.
Mark Kotsay? Sure. But swapping Kotsay for Dye would essentially give the White Sox two right-handed-hitting DHs. The White Sox do need less Kotsay, but it's not clear how more Dye would help.
Juan Pierre? Of course. But that would mean playing Dye in left field, or tossing Andruw Jones out there. Fortunately, the White Sox aren't paying all of Pierre's salary; the Dodgers are paying most of it. But the Sox are still into Pierre for $8 million: $3 million this season, $5 million next season. Are the White Sox ready to eat that $8 million and sink $2 million (or thereabouts) into Jermaine Dye?
Probably not. Not yet, anyway. They're not yet that desperate, and shouldn't be. Might as well wait and see if Peavy gets things turned around, because if he doesn't pitch decently it really won't matter who's playing in left field.