White Sox in need of wake-up call
I know that it was just the first series, but I'm a little worried about the White Sox going forward this season. It could be argued that the Sox won the offseason, and the hype surrounding the team before this strange year was nothing short of spectacular, but none of that matters if they can't perform on the field.
I still had reservations about their pitching going into this year and yesterday proved me right. Reynaldo Lopez - injury or no injury - is a guy that appears lost and not confident on the mound time and time again. He consistently has trouble hitting the strike zone, and Gonzalez didn't fare much better. Was the Gio Gonzalez the Sox had throughout the years a better pitcher? Probably. His ERA was still a strong 3.50 last year with Milwaukee, but he's been used in a relief role for a few years now. He hasn't been a starter since 2018, when he posted a losing record and a 4.57 ERA.
But with Lopez out now, do you trust to put him in the third spot? Or a Dylan Cease who had a choppy year last year? Or a Carlos Rodon who hasn't pitched all of last year? If Lucas Giolito can't return to 2019 form like he showed us on his Opening Day start, we're going to be in trouble.
We may have exciting bats, but we can't rely on scoring a touchdown and a field goal every game to win. We scored five runs that first game against the Twins, and it wasn't enough. We gave up double digits in two of the three losses. Even against a hard-hitting playoff team, that's unacceptable. The Sox need to figure out their pitching soon in a truncated season.
The Sox have pitching depth, but some of that pitching depth should be reconsidered this year. Kelvin Herrera had another abysmal performance in the pen while Ross Detwiler threw another surprisingly good two innings. Keep a short lease on Herrera and his turbulent past with the Sox. With their deep pitching pool, do you really need him?
Another thing that really bothered me about yesterday was Yoan Moncada's absence. Renteria said he gave him a day to rest to fully recover from COVID-19. But wasn't he in true form already? He seemed fully recovered? This makes no sense. You take the hottest bat out of the lineup against the best hitting team in the league to substitute the number two spot with none other than Nicky Delmonico? Really? I know that Ricky likes to play with the lineup on the day to day, but Nicky Delmonico shouldn't be batting second, and he's lucky to even be out there.
Their defense is something that worries me too. Tim Anderson said he worked on his glove this year, but he already has committed multiple easy errors. Leury Garcia committed back to back errors in game one. Errors are part of the game, but when you play future playoff teams, those errors typically lead to runs. Yoan was also taken out for using his glove yesterday, and I'd argue that he's the strongest defensive infielder. There was a play to Danny Mendick where he dove and barely missed it going down the third base line. There were two White Sox guys I thought maybe could have made that play: Joe Crede and Yoan Moncada, and they both weren't at third.
I also worry about guys like Eloy Jiménez, who seems to be a human punching bag out there. I hope he's not one of these injury prone stars that just can never stay on the field. Let's hope he's not out too long.
There are 57 games left and each series counts. The Sox need to show that they can beat teams like Minnesota and now Cleveland. There were good things that came from the weekend, but were also things that have already made me put my guard up. I don't like watching games that are already over in the second inning. I hope to see a better series against the Indians. Let's go Sox!