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That Giolito boy ain't right

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  • That Giolito boy ain't right

    Giolito had another rough start and his ERA is up to 4.97. Even before he started giving up home runs to the Royals today, even Jason and Steve were pointing out that he did not seem to have command of any of his pitches. The changeup isn't playing like one of the best pitches in MLB anymore.

    What's the diagnosis from the armchair pitching coaches on WSI? Is he hiding an injury? Did he mess up his mechanics over the offseason? Is the league simply adjusting to him and he has been unable to adjust back?
    "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
    -- Thucydides

  • #2
    The league adjusting may be one thing but not having his personal catcher James McCann around may also be factoring in.

    Bad luck or not, right now he's the weak link in the rotation.

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    • #3
      They seem to be attacking him early in the count with some success, and when they're not, he's falling behind and working too hard for outs. He doesn't seem to be getting outs by attacking the strike zone. I don't think it's just a matter of the league adjusting to him, although it's possible his breakthrough success was the result of old scouting reports that are just now catching up. I don't have the time to get into into his velocity and such. Right now, if you were setting the rotation up from scratch after a week off, you would probably go Rodon-Lynn-Cease-Keuchel-Giolito or you would start with Lynn and end with Keuchel. I haven't seen enough of Giolito to have any opinion on his problem, but being off this season appears to be his norm. Giolito and the coaches are probably aware there is a problem that goes beyond a couple of fly balls that got caught in the jet stream.

      There was a time when WSI would be calling for the pitching coach to be fired.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TDog View Post
        There was a time when WSI would be calling for the pitching coach to be fired.
        I dont know when you are talking about but the calls over the last few years was correct. You can see how many sniffs the previous pitching coach has gotten.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lipman 1 View Post
          The league adjusting may be one thing but not having his personal catcher James McCann around may also be factoring in.

          Bad luck or not, right now he's the weak link in the rotation.
          I hated losing McCann. I watched the Rays-Mets game last night and McCann was just magnificent behind the plate with his framing and stopping every ball in the dirt with men on base.
          Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post

            I hated losing McCann. I watched the Rays-Mets game last night and McCann was just magnificent behind the plate with his framing and stopping every ball in the dirt with men on base.
            As good a reason as any for Gio's problems. TDog's mention of the scouting has merit as well. It's not something he can fix by going to see Katz since Katz is right here.
            If it's up, put it down. If it's down, put it up.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TDog View Post
              There was a time when WSI would be calling for the pitching coach to be fired.
              Giolito could give up 12 runs in each of his next two starts and nobody would be calling for Ethan Katz to be fired because of how well Rodon and Cease have been pitching.
              "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
              -- Thucydides

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              • #8
                Giolito’s fastball velocity is down a tick, and his changeup is 1-2 MPH faster this year. Stone has said relying on the high changeup is a dangerous place to live but Giolito had done so successfully in 2019 and 2020. I think the combination of slightly less difference in velocity between the fastball and changeup, coupled with hitters sitting on the high changeup, is a crucial difference.

                In addition, Giolito seems to struggle more during the day than at night. Having less time to rest the night before, and/or less time to have a full game day routine, could be the difference of 1-2 MPH of velocity and/or pinpoint command. At the same time, ambient sunlight may allow hitters to identify his pitches microseconds earlier than they do under artificial light.

                It might be wise to juggle the rotation a bit - particularly given that they can use Kopech as a sixth starter - to ensure Giolito pitches night games as much as possible.

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                • #9
                  Both of the homers he gave up yesterday (accounting for five runs) were wind blown to the opposite field. Off the bat, no one in the ballpark thought either had a chance to go out- they appeared to be routine fly balls to right. The expected batting average on both is below .200. Very few hard hit balls off of him yesterday.

                  2021 Sox Attendance Tracker: 12-6
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                  • #10
                    McCann has been a net negative so far for the Mets. And if having to switch catchers means Giolito's performance takes a nosedive then he had a lot more problems than just that. I'm still blown away by people who seriously think we should've kept McCann over Grandal.

                    So it sounds like he's had a stretch of bad luck mixed with the loss of effectiveness of a handful of his pitches. Both can be remedied.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by blurry View Post
                      McCann has been a net negative so far for the Mets. And if having to switch catchers means Giolito's performance takes a nosedive then he had a lot more problems than just that. I'm still blown away by people who seriously think we should've kept McCann over Grandal.

                      So it sounds like he's had a stretch of bad luck mixed with the loss of effectiveness of a handful of his pitches. Both can be remedied.
                      Well, I think it’s fair to give McCann some credit for the success of the Mets’ pitching this year. Their run prevention is by far the best in the majors, given that they have big leads in the fewest hits, walks, and earned runs allowed. Yes, they have played fewer games than any other team, but they also are #2 in ERA and WHIP.

                      It would have been nice if JR was willing to tap into his personal wealth to find a payroll large enough to retain McCann. However, Collins’ .4 WAR certainly dwarfs McCann’s -.5 WAR so far.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post

                        I hated losing McCann. I watched the Rays-Mets game last night and McCann was just magnificent behind the plate with his framing and stopping every ball in the dirt with men on base.
                        And he's hitting .200 and OPS under .500
                        Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post

                          Well, I think it’s fair to give McCann some credit for the success of the Mets’ pitching this year. Their run prevention is by far the best in the majors, given that they have big leads in the fewest hits, walks, and earned runs allowed. Yes, they have played fewer games than any other team, but they also are #2 in ERA and WHIP.

                          It would have been nice if JR was willing to tap into his personal wealth to find a payroll large enough to retain McCann. However, Collins’ .4 WAR certainly dwarfs McCann’s -.5 WAR so far.
                          And Collins would be in the minors right now with no pathway to Chicago. Maybe if we were the Yankees or Dodgers we could use up payroll for two starting catchers with all-star appearances under their belts. IMO, the extra $ would have been better spent elsewhere. Collins flashes potential to be a LH power bat who can draw walks and has shown so far that he's not nearly as bad behind the plate as sports pundits have said over the last few years. The time is now to see if he can be an above average MLB player and contributor to this team's contention window. Of all the things I fault JR for being cheap over, paying for McCann AND Grandal isn't one of them.

                          Of course, one could argue that we should have stuck with McCann and not signed Grandal in the first place. I'm not saying that's my opinion, but that's another discussion altogether.
                          White Sox Division Titles: 1983, 1993, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2021

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                          • #14
                            James Fegan wrote a bit about Giolito's slow start: https://theathletic.com/2581873/2021...ds-his-slider/

                            If you took away that start against Boston, where Giolito said he was pretty much tipping his pitches, he'd have a 3.54 ERA (assuming I did my math right) and I don't think anyone would be too worried about him.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HomeFish View Post

                              Giolito could give up 12 runs in each of his next two starts and nobody would be calling for Ethan Katz to be fired because of how well Rodon and Cease have been pitching.
                              Maybe the irony in my post was too subtle.

                              There was a lot written about Giolito's turnaround as a pitcher,and if things don't soon change, there will be more written about what went wrong.As people have been justifiably praising the White Sox starting rotation, they have been talking as if Giolito's struggles don't count because they are an aberration. He hasn't continued the turnaround path that had him in the preseason discussions as a possible Cy Young contender.

                              The problem with Giolito isn't the pitching coach. It's not the catcher. It's Giolito. Wind-blown fly balls or not, he isn't pitching like the ace fans assumed he would be this year. I'm guessing Katz is aware of that and is trying to do something about it.

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