The 2014 non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and as we get the final two months of the regular season underway, the time has come to take a longer look at Moises Sierra.
Why? Well, two reasons.
For one, he’s been pretty good since joining the White Sox. They need to know if they’re actually onto something with the kid. And secondly, the club has run out of reasons to favor Dayan Viciedo over him wholeheartedly.
The problem with giving up on “The Tank” is that he’s only 25 and full of potential. But guess what … Sierra is also 25, and the team is staring at at least three months of evidence suggesting that their talent gap is not great, if there even is a gap at all.
As we discussed recently, Viciedo has been atrocious of late. He put together a nice April, but has simply been dead weight in the lineup ever since. He’s bad in the field, which we all figured was OK as he seemed to have a future as the team’s potential designated hitter of the future. But as a table-setter and run producer, all he’s done over the past couple of years is regress. It wouldn’t be totally unwarranted to give Dayan another shot in his age 26 season of 2015 … but at the same time, it’s going to get to a point sooner or later when the team has to say enough is enough.
Replacing him over the offseason, whether through a trade or free agency, will certainly be an option for General Manager Rick Hahn. But if you look at the list of guys that’ll be available once winter hits (and keep in mind the Sox would likely be looking for a lefty), you realize that there aren’t many, if any, clear-cut options for the team to pursue.
In fact, if Alejandro De Aza can finish off the year with a couple solid months, they could just hang onto him. But as for replacing Viciedo right now, it seems like it should be Sierra getting the extra reps.
Why? Well the reps still aren’t there for the taking on an every day basis, and they’re sure to decrease in availability pretty soon.
Sure, you can start sitting Viciedo, but you’re not going to bench him every day. Not to mention Alejandro De Aza has been pretty solid over the last two months and is a solid option against righties (hitting .272). And most notably, Avisail Garcia‘s rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte is underway, meaning right field won’t be up for grabs much longer.
With playing time only sure to be available for another two, three, maybe four weeks tops, we arrive at the point: we are now in what may be the only window to get an extended look at Sierra.
Since being claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays, Sierra has hit .307 with ten extra-base hits over 106 plate appearances. And that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, as he was impressive with Toronto last season, hitting .290 with 15 XBH over 122 plate appearances.
I’m not saying I think the Sox are definitely onto something special with Sierra. But hey, he’s been a productive hitter when given the opportunity for a couple years now, so it would be silly to dismiss his success in a part-time role as a total fluke.
Avi Garcia and leadoff man Adam Eaton are etched into the 2015 White Sox’ everyday outfield, so as previously mentioned, leaving one position up for grabs. There’s no way to know how Hahn will go about filling that role just yet. You could make an argument in favor of cutting out the frustrations of a platoon and signing a reliable free agent … but you could also make a fair point in favor of going with a cost-efficient and statistically-sufficient platoon.
If Hahn does go with the latter, Moises Sierra is potentially a name that isn’t going away anytime soon. And given his solid performance on the field and phenomenal presence in the dugout, he at least deserves a chance … a chance he may only be able to get on the field for right now.
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