Roughly halfway to the All-Star break, the Cubs find themselves in an all-too-familiar position - 12.5 games back and in last place in the NL Central. Things haven’t been daisies for the Southsiders either, but surprisingly the White Sox find themselves only 3.5 games out of first place in the AL Central.
As both teams move closer to the break, the Sox look to keep their playoff contention alive, while the Cubs, well, next year's gonna be their year, right?
What if...just what if the Sox and Cubs could combine powers and morph into one sub-par, extremely mediocre team? The Chicago White Cubs -- not polar bears, but white cubs. Which players from each Chicago team would crack the starting lineup?
I give you your starting All-Chicago White Cubs:
Cubs: Wellington Castillo - .242 BA, .287 OBP, .385 SLG, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 62 TB, 0 SB, CS% (caught stealing percentage) 14%
Sox: Tyler Flowers - .260 BA, .325 OBP, .373 SLG, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 66 TB, 0 SB, CS% 30%
Starter: Slight-edge – Tyler Flowers. These two backstops are pretty similar, but you have to give the edge to Flowers given the BA, OBP, and CS%.
Cubs: Anthony Rizzo - .277 BA, .401 OBP, .500 SLG, 13 HR, 36 RBI, 112 TB, 1 SB
Sox: Jose Abreu - .264 BA, .317 OBP, .615 SLG, 19 HR, 50 RBI, 128 TB, 0 SB. By the way, if you haven't seen the Hawk's call on Abreu's walk-off grand slam, it's a must see. I thought he was going to have a brain aneurism in the booth after that one.
Starter: Jose Abreu – This has to be gut-wrenching for Cubs fans, because Rizzo is undeniably the best hitter on the team. Too bad Abreu enjoys punishing baseballs and giving all the little boys and girls in the outfield bleachers souvenirs. This battle would be even more lopsided if Abreu didn’t have to sit down with a bum ankle. Rizzo, I called your number, right? No? Well, better luck next year.
Cubs: Darwin Barney - .203 BA, .264 OBP, .297 SLG, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 35 TB, 0 SB
Sox: Gordon Beckham - .295 BA, .337 OBP, .426 SLG, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 75 TB, 1 SB
Starter: Gordon Beckham – After some long, difficult and extensive analysis, it's Beckham who should probably be the starter here. Hopefully, you caught my sarcasm, because an alien could have figured this one out. Yes, Cubs fans, Barney is one of the best fielding 2nd basemen in the league. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem aware that fielding is only part of baseball. I used to go to this place called the batting cages sometimes - usually helped me out a bit. As for Gordon, “the slayer,” it looks as if he's finally returned to his rookie form.
Cubs: Luis Valbuena - .293 BA, .396 OBP, .463 SLG, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 76 TB, 0 SB
Mike Olt - .150 BA, .223 OBP, .364 SLG, 9 HR, 24 RBI, 51 TB, 0 SB
Sox: Conor Gillaspie - .340 BA, .389 OBP, .444 SLG, 0 HR, 23 RBI, 72 TB, 0 SB
Starter: Conor Gillaspie – Are you guys starting to see a common theme here? This pick is a no-brainer as well. Gillaspie has been completely inept at hitting the ball out of the park, but his average and on base percentage are fantastic. Valbuena is enjoying a nice season, just not enough to get him into this lineup. Olt, we see the raw power, but maybe you should invest into some contact lenses or something...whiff city.
Cubs: Starlin Castro - .272 BA, .315 OBP, .444 SLG, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 114 TB, 1 SB
Sox: Alexei Ramirez - .311 BA, .347 OBP, .444 SLG, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 114 TB, 12 SB
Starter: Alexei Ramirez – This has to be another heartbreaker for Cubs fans. An All-Chicago team without Rizzo and Castro? Still, the numbers don’t lie, people - Alexei is 100% the pick through a third of the season. If you’d like to argue fielding on some of these picks, I'd understand, but I wouldn’t even go there with this one.
With the infield complete, the All-Chicago team looks identical to the Chicago White Sox. Literally, there isn’t a single Cub on the field right now.
Cubs: Junior Lake - .242 BA, .273 OBP, .434 SLG, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 86 TB, 7 SB
Sox: Alejandro De Aza - .197, .274 OBP, .323 SLG, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 64 TB, 8 SB
Starter: Junior Lake – Finally, a Cubs player finds his way into the starting lineup. Junior seems to have fallen off a bit from a solid rookie season, but his numbers so far aren’t overly concerning. Besides, when you’re in a position battle against De Aza, you better win - or it might be time to go find yourself a new day job.
Cubs: Emilio Bonifacio - .266 BA, .311 OBP, .344 SLG, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 83 TB, 13 SB
Sox: Adam Eaton - .253 BA, .325 OBP, .358 SLG, 1 HR, 18 RBI, 65 TB, 5 SB
Starter: Emilio Bonifacio – These two center fielders share very similar statistics, but Bonifacio gets the nod here thanks to his 13 stolen bases. Eaton has struggled with injuries this season, so look for him to steal the job back by the All-Star break.
Cubs: Nate Schierholtz - .213 BA, .269 OBP, .312 SLG, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 63 TB, 3 SB
Sox: Dayan Viciedo - .249 BA, .304 OBP, .395 SLG, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 92 TB, 0 SB
Starter: Dayan Viciedo – The beat goes on, and yet another Sox player joins the group of starters. Neither of these two have done anything special so far, but someone has to hold it down over in right field.
Ace of the rotation:
Cubs: Jeff Samardzija – 2-6, 2.77 ERA, 91.0 IP, 81 H, 28 ER, 82 K, 8.1 K/9
Sox: Chris Sale – 5-1, 1.97 ERA, 59.1 IP, 31 H, 13 ER, 68 K, 10.3 K/9
Starter: Chris Sale – Out of all the position battles, this one was the hardest decision. Both of these pitchers have been virtually unhittable this season. Sale showed us last weekend that he’s still human when he gave up a game-tying grand slam to Mike Trout. Samardzija will likely continue his domination of the National League as his days at the Friendly Confines keep ticking away.
PS - Sale hasn't really gotten used to the fact that even the best pitchers give up runs sometimes. "Yeah guys i'm fine, don't worry about me. I'm just gonna' grab this bat right here and take it to the tunnel for a little bit." I absolutely love the double-crow-hop before destroying half the locker room.
Well, there you have it, your 1/3rd of the season All-Chicago starting lineup. We aren't quite sure how much adding Junior Lake and Emilio Bonifacio to the White Sox helps their chances, but this is the best roster the City of Chicago can conjure up right now. We’ll revisit these position matchups during when we're 2/3rds of the way through the season, and we'll see how different version #2 of the All-Chicago team looks.Back to the Chicago White Sox Newsfeed