Even with the levity that a win brings, the White Sox clubhouse is in a unique place. Chris Sale left for Boston during the winter, Jose Quintana is on the North Side of Chicago with the Cubs now, and Frazier is headed to the Yankees. Even Holland could be in a new uniform come Aug. 1.
But for now, WWE-crazed Holland is happy to support what’s happening with his new teammates in Chicago and encourage the much-needed levity while the White Sox stumble through the growing pains of a rebuild.
Pirates (vs. Brewers)
Status heading into series: 44-48, 7 back in the NL Central, 8 out of a wild-card spot
The bright side: The Pirates kept their hopes alive with two ninth-inning wins in their three-game series with the Cardinals coming out of the All-Star break, and now they get three games at home against the team that leads the NL Central. A sweep puts them only four games back, and remember, they get Starling Marte — an All-Star in 2016 and two-time Gold Glove outfielder — back on Tuesday from his 80-game suspension from PED use. That’s a pretty big shot in the arm.
On the other hand: If the series against the Brewers goes poorly, they’re still in the same rut they’ve been pretty much all season. And there are opportunity costs that have to be considered. They have pieces that could help other contenders, and a smaller-budget franchise such as the Pirates have to keep that in consideration. We’ve talked about the Andrew McCutchen dilemma, and ace right-hander Gerrit Cole’s name has been bandied about on the trade rumor mill. He could bring back a huge return if the club decides to move him. As for other guys, third baseman David Freese has a team-friendly contract and a .376 on-base percentage, Tony Watson is a lefty free agent-to-be with closing experience (even though he’s struggled) and John Jaso could be a nice left-handed hitter off the bench for a contender (he’s a free agent after the season).