In the first installment of teams we expect to disappoint in 2013 the first team is the Chicago White Sox. After a poor showing from a 2011 Sox teams that some writers expected to win the World Series the unheralded 2012 White Sox were in the AL central race until the very end. Going into 2013 many people believe this team can repeat its success and compete for a Wild Card spot. Looking back at the past season there is not much room for improvement if any.
The 2012 White Sox succeeded from unexpected bounce back years from Alex Rios, Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy. Adam Dunn put up Adam Dunn home run numbers in 2012 but his contact rate continued to plummet and with it went his OBP and SLG% as Dunn posted a .800 OPS (only.729 in 2nd half). Dunn’s production has been trending downwards for years, Counting on an aging Dunn to repeat his 2012 numbers is optimistic.
In 2012, Alex Rios posted his highest ISO in six years (.212), while walking at a 4.1% rate, the lowest of his career. While the power numbers show a possible re-emergence as a legitimate home run threat, the walk rate reaffirms what we have thought about Rios for a long time-that he is a hitter who is on a steady decline since being put on waivers in 2009. This feeling is further enforced by looking at his 2012 BABIP and HR/FB%, both of which were higher than he has posted in recent years. The preponderance of the evidence shows a player who is unlikely to repeat his four-win season and may struggle to post league average numbers.
Jake Peavy put up his best year since being traded to the White Sox throwing 219 innings of 3.37era ball. Although none of the advanced stats suggest anything fishy about his 2012 season Peavy has not thrown this many innings since 2007, and it is unlikely he will be healthy enough to throw that many again in 2013. Peavy ranked 2nd in baseball in total Pitcher Abuse Points according to Baseball Prospectus and through a large number of 110+ pitch games for a guy still coming off shoulder surgery. Robin Ventura rode him hard in 2012 and shows no sign of stopping in 2013 and because of this we see him missing multiple starts over the next year.
Another player to include in the success of 2012 was AJ Pierzynski who posted the best numbers of his career. AJ was a 3.4 fWAR player last season and those numbers will be hard for Tyler Flowers to reproduce. Barring a huge season from Dayan Viciedo (who we believe will improve his numbers) a step back in wins seems inevitable for these White Sox.