The White Sox did as expected and finished their first full week of baseball standing at 3-5. The team has plenty of to worry about, but also good reason to believe the rebuild is going in the right direction. The Sox opened the season going 1-2 against the Kansas City Royals followed by a two game stop in Cleveland where they won one and lost one. They finished up the week back at Sox Park winning their 2019 home opener against the Seattle Mariners before dropping the final two games over the weekend. It’s a weird feeling right now since the team was just beat down two games in a row, but there was a deserved optimism after Friday’s win and a 3-3 starting record. That mixed with the Cubs not knowing how to win made for a surprisingly exciting first week.
Yoan Moncada has shown that spring training was no fluke. He finished the week batting .353 with 2 home runs, 4 doubles, and 11 RBIs while playing a stellar 3rd base. A lot of people including myself were calling on Moncada to have a break out year and so far.. so good. His approach at the plate has been way more aggressive, which has lowered his strikeout rate and made him an absolute weapon in the lineup. We also witnessed the greatest week in Tim Anderson’s life just occur. The 4th year shortstop missed two games due to the birth of his second child and daughter, but did not let that slow him down. In fact, it seems to have provided the best kind of motivation with Anderson currently leading the entire MLB in batting average at .560. That ridiculous average includes home runs in back to back games against the Mariners to go along with 2 doubles and 5 RBIs. Again, all in six games.
Overall, the top half of our lineup has been playing lights out. Abreu chipped in 3 home runs and 9 RBIs while Leury Garcia is off to a surprising hot start batting .321. The much-heralded phenom Eloy Jimenez had 3 multi-hit games in his first action at the big league level, but has shown typical rookie growing pains on his way to a .226 average and 11 Ks. We have put up 6 or more runs in half of the games to start the season which is what we need to continue to do. The players that are supposed to be the best are performing their best and that alone gets me so hyped for this season.
The defense and pitching has been a completely different story and the reason we have more losses than wins. Honestly, if not for our stellar offense I’m sure we’d have a few more losses tacked on. The staff gave up 29 runs over the weekend which was only slightly worse than their first 5 games. Our team ERA of 5.70 is good for 27th in the league and we only have 3 pitchers with an ERA under 5.00. Carlos Rodon, Kevin Herrera, and Alex Colome are the only ones that seem to be able to get out of an inning without giving up a run right now and it’s a crazy drop off after those that. The next best ERA after Colome’s top notch 2.25 number is Lucas Giolito at 5.73. Ervin Santana is rumored to debut this week which should bring things back to earth, but if this is our pitching for the season we might lose 100 games again.
We have a few studs down on the farm who’ve also started the season on tears. Luis Robert is obviously too good for the competition in Single A as he bats .529 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs through the first 4 games. He should be in AA before June and hopefully finish off the season in Charlotte. Another hot prospect is Zack Collins. The AAA catcher is almost guaranteed a shot with the big league club this season and is only proving his worth opening the season with a .364 average and 3 home runs including a 2 home run night in the opener. Collins is a top 10 prospect in our system and had a disappointing 2018, but I fully expect him to ride this wave all the way down to 35th and Shields this year. We have not had a reliable offensive threat behind the plate since the goat himself, AJ Pierzynski, left the team after the 2012 season and the south side is ready for Collins to make a splash.