When the Chicago White Sox picked up DeWayne Wise, it was looked at for what it was, an addition left handed bat that would provide some depth they were otherwise lacking in the outfield. What it has turned out to be is a much needed bat with experience in a playoff run.
The White Sox outfield has been quite solid this season. Dayan Viciedo has come up with some big hits while learning the ins and outs of playing every day, Alejandro De Aza has far exceeded many expectations, and Alex Rios has been a non-stop hitting machine.
So when Wise came over after the New York Yankees let him go when they added Ichiro Suzuki, the move seemed minor to the overall picture. Funny how moves like that can make such a big difference for a team fighting for a division crown. Since coming to the White Sox, Wise is hitting .290 with three homeruns and nine RBI in 31 at bats. With the Yankees, he had a .260 average with three homeruns and eight RBI in 61 at bats.
What may stand out even more is that Wise has a 0.5 WAR already with the White Sox, meaning he has already helped them win a half a game over a replacement player. Compare that with the poor play of Brent Lillibridge earlier in the year and the mediocre play of Jordan Danks this year (both who’s WAR adds up to -0.5) and he has erased what they have done, all while playing in eight games.
Now with De Aza on the disabled list with bruised ribs, Wise will get a chance to start and prove he can still play every day. De Aza had been a constant for the White Sox, hitting leadoff with a .281 average and a .346 on-base percentage. Wise will be asked to replace much of what De Aza brought, including being a rock in center field.
It’s funny to see how much White Sox fans embrace Wise, mostly for “The Catch”. Baseball-reference.com rates players to find out who they are most similar too. Wise’s number one similarity? Former White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson. I’d imagine Anderson wouldn’t get the same love Wise received upon returning, but that’s baseball for you. One play that will forever live in White Sox history has made a player beloved on the south side of Chicago. Now Wise is trying to make new memories. Who would have guessed a month ago that that would be the case. Again, that’s baseball for you.
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