As you may or may not have heard by now, the Chicago White Sox acquired Manny Ramirez in a straight waiver claim from the Los Angeles Dodgers. A straight waiver claim means that the White Sox did not have to send any players back to the Dodgers, but they will have to pay all of Ramirez’s salary.
This was a smart move with the White Sox. They acquired Manny for his bat. They should not have to deal with the problems Manny brings along with him. These problems are better known as “Manny being Manny.” They won’t have to deal with his horrendous fielding (he’s actually been a worse left fielder over his career than Delmon Young, Manny would give up 20.5 runs over 150 games while Delmon would only give up 17.8 runs) and if anybody is going to be able to deal with the head-case that is Manny Ramirez, it’s Ozzie Guillen.
The White Sox have used a slew of different players at DH, but their most common DH has been Mark Kotsay. He has been there 47 times, and the next most common is Carlos Quentin, and he was there 24 times.
Mark Kotsay has been absolutely awful. He has put up a .237/.311/.385 line, which is awfully close to Hardy’s .259/.308/.385 line. The difference between them is Hardy is putting up stellar defense at shortstop, while Kotsay is having no effect other than at at the plate.
The White Sox now have a new DH who has put up a .311/.405/.510 line. That is outstanding and is more than one world better than Kotsay’s.
This is not good news for the Twins. The White Sox, the only team with a chance of taking down the Twins, is now better. But this doesn’t mean the Twins are done and it is inevitable that they will be taken over by the White Sox. The Twins currently sit 76-56, 4 games over the White Sox who have a record of 72-60. If the Twins were to go cold all of the sudden and go .500 the rest of the way (15-15) the White Sox would have to catch lightning in a bottle and go 20-10 the rest of the way.
How unlikely is this? The Twins are 20 games over .500 on the year so suddenly going .500 over the final month isn’t likely. The White Sox are 12 games over .500 on the year. So you think they are suddenly going to go 10 games over .500 over the final month? That isn’t likely to happen. PECOTA projections agree with me, as they say there’s a 13.2% chance at that happening.
The White Sox addition of Manny Ramirez certainly helps their chances, but by no means does it make it likely that the Twins lose the division.