With 77 games left in 2012 the White Sox find themselves in a place (First 47-38) they did not expect to be in. I guess Managers and coaching staffs do matter. (i.e, Rios in RF, Viciedo in LF). At least most people never thought they would be buyers at this time of year. With Jake Peavy making 17 million this year and Matt Thornton making 5.5 million the White Sox front office thought they would be selling these guys off to the highest bidder this month. Well surprise, surprise. Sox lead the division by 3 games and pitching coach Don Copper is asking Kenny Williams for one more starting pitcher and one more veteran guy in the pen.
With doubts on John Danks making it back before August and doubts that Phil Humber can be a serious 7 inning starter, Cooper is hoping Williams can pull off another steal of a trade similar to the Youkilis robbery last month. Can Gavin Floyd be trade bait? Or does Williams keep sending him out to the mound and hope he gets the good breaking ball Floyd most of the time. Jose Quintana has been lights out for the Sox and is a real find by the Sox scouting department. But after Peavy, Sale and Quintana the pitching staff is a thin one. With only one veteran in Thornton out in the bullpen Copper would love to have another, go to guy that has "been there" before during the heat of a hot summer pennant race. If Jesse Crain comes back healthy that would be a huge help.
Making matters worse for the White Sox brass is that fan attendance for the first half of 2012 is down 5%. The good thing is with all these young players the Sox payroll is down 24%.
But after this season they will have to decide what to do with A.J. Pierzyski, Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, Dayan Viciedo, Chris Sale and Alejandro De Aza. All are either free agents or have club options. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. We need to see how Sale and Peavy hold up and if Paul Konerko wrist can make it through another 77 games.
If the Sox can win 40 of those 77 games that may be good enough to win the AL Central.