The Chicago White Sox experimented with an unusual 4:10 p.m. start time Tuesday, and the early returns are in.
“I love it,” Seattle Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales said, “Talking to a couple hitters in the first inning, guys just said, `Anything that comes out looks like a fastball. You don’t know what it is.”
Seattle broke out on top against fill-in starter Chris Volstad (0-1) in the fourth when Kyle Seager doubled and scored on Haniger’s hard grounder up the middle, both with two outs.
“Definitely didn’t see the ball as good as yesterday, but it’s the same for both teams, so you got to get the job done any way you can,” said Haniger, whose streak of four straight games with a home run came to an end. “Just trying to hit the ball hard, and it squeaked through and got the run across.”
After Yoan Moncada’s leadoff double chased Gonzales in the seventh, reliever Dan Altavilla retired the next two batters before Marc Rzepczynski got the final out of the inning.
Juan Nicasio pitched the eighth and Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his ninth save in as many tries.
Differences of opinion are to be expected, and the truth is that typically when a critic is laser-focused on one or two names that seem out of place to them, it means that they actually agree with most of the rest of the list. And there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s actually a feature of fantasy baseball, and not a flaw. If you were in a league with me and we had a distinct difference of opinion on one or two players, the end result could well be a trade in which we both think we’ve gotten away with a steal.
However, when we’re talking about rest-of-season rankings and it’s still April, there seems to be more of a disconnect in terms of why some players move up after a bad start or down after beginning the season on a tear. The reason for this counterintuitive player movement is because after such a small sample of at-bats, with very few exceptions, there’s no real reason to change our preseason view of what we expect players to accomplish.
By way of example, let’s compare Ian Happ and Javier Baez — a pair of Chicago teammates who were ranked within a round of each other heading into the season, with the following projected 2018 stat lines:
However, here’s the thing. We can’t suddenly assume that either of these players will produce at this pace the rest of the season. If we did, then we’d also have to assume that Jed Lowrie will be a .363 hitter when the season comes to a close, and I don’t think anybody out there — save for Lowrie and some family members, perhaps — believes that to be the case.