FanGraphs' R.J. Anderson wrote Wednesday about the White Sox' latest roster shake-up:
- Gordon Beckham wasn't among first five hitters taken in last June's draft, but he will be one of the first five hitters from the 2008 draft to appear in the major leagues. Beckham will be promoted before tonight's game, taking the place of Wilson Betemit ...
As for Beckham, he has less than 200 plate appearances in the minors, but the White Sox are apparently satisfied with his polish. Last year, he hit .310/.365/.500 in 63 plate appearances in A-Ball and so far this year he hit an almost identical .299/.366/.497 at Double-A. He's showcasing some good pop and plate discipline. Defensively it's hard to tell how Beckham will perform. Some scouting reports indicate Beckham's arm is only average and his small stature has a lot of people saying his ultimate destination is at second base.
The White Sox third basemen have compiled -8.8 UZR and -11 wRAA. That's nearly two full wins shaved off the Sox' total thanks to poor play at the hot corner. Beckham figures to be an immediate upgrade at the plate and in the field.
(Just because I don't mention these things often enough, UZR is ultimate zone rating and wRAA is weighted runs above average, which is based on wOBA, which is weighted on-base average but really doesn't have anything to do with on-base average. Which is what happens when we run out of original names for stats used to measure hitting.)
Fixing one spot in the lineup is a necessary step, but just one of a few. White Sox third basemen are 12th in the American League in OPS. So are their shortstops and second basemen. White Sox center fielders are 14th. You can't just give away four positions and hope to compete. Granted, Josh Fields and Alexei Ramirez haven't played as well as expected. But at some point you have to assume that maybe your expectations were a bit optimistic.
The White Sox have more problems than they can fix quickly. But when you're in second place you have to try. Particularly when the team that's in first place -- as we learn in the latest Daily Fungo -- may be on the verge of a "roster revolution."