In general, if half of your batting order is a combined average of .100, that's not good.
But for the White Sox, there is some good news, a positive side perhaps bright enough to be considered platinum, behind a clear demarcation of those who have and do not have in their daily alignment.
Let's start with the truth: four of the daily White Sox starters have had a good to excellent start, with Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Leury Garcia and Eloy Jiménez combining a .335 batting average in the first 14 games of the season . Meanwhile, another quartet has had an objectively bad start, with Welington Castillo, Yolmer Sanchez, Daniel Palka and Yonder Alonso hitting a total of .100 with only 13 hits combined in the first 14 games of the season.
The first half of that truth has been excellent news for the team and its fans, Anderson and Moncada, in particular, with great beginnings in following the disappointing 2018 seasons and Jiménez reaching the big leagues with some success, peppered by his double homer. Friday night in New York.
But the second half of that truth has been cause for great consternation, in particular, Sánchez and Palka, who served as almost automatic departures, in the eyes of the fans, at the beginning of the season. Castillo and Alonso, it should be noted, have made some positive contributions, both reaching the base in a .333 clip despite the shortage of hits at the base.
(The man left here is José Abreu, who has been rather "meh", from the point of view of production, in his first 14 contests, with a batting average of .200, a trio of home runs and 10 RBIs It's Jose Abreu, of course, and he has earned a reputation that predicts that his numbers will be nothing to worry about.)
The obvious conclusion to jump to is that when a member of the pitching team has been hit as often as the White Sox staff at the beginning, a team can not stay afloat when half of the lineup is not producing . And even though the White Sox got some positive vibes much needed by taking two of three of the Yankees over the weekend, they still sit at 5-9 and in fourth place in an aggressively weak AL Central.
To be fair, this is not exactly out of place, since pre-season expectations outside the clubhouse did not include the White Sox who crashed in the postseason in October. Certainly, however, it is not good news for anyone, inside or outside the clubhouse in the Guaranteed Rate Field, which harbored the hope of a surprise in 2019, and any slow slow start could certainly bring about changes in that Daily alignment
So, where is that platinum lining that you were promised?
Well, it has to do with Rick Hahn's overall hope for the 2019 campaign, one presented for the first time at SoxFest and commented again when the season began last month in Kansas City. The general manager has now said on multiple occasions that the method in which the White Sox reach their total of final victories could be much more important than that total of victories ends up being. That is, if the White Sox do not reach the playoffs but get good seasons from Anderson and Moncada and Jiménez (and Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo López and Lucas Giolito, who are separated from this conversation given their pitching status), that will be a great positive news for a franchise that seeks to make the leap of reconstruction to compete in the near future. However, if the White Sox win many games on the back of Alonso and Castillo and the injured Jon Jay, the veterans on short stays, while the young players continue to suffer growing pains, is not so good news.
"Regardless of what the total wins end at the end of the year, the way we achieve it will be more important than the actual total," Hahn said in January. "If it's the short-term veteran strikes that carry most of the water and lead to a greater total of victories, that's great and makes summer more enjoyable, but it does not necessarily reinforce long-term progress.
"If the total of victories turns out to be a little lower but some of these young players are taking the necessary step, then within a year we will be able to sit here and be even more optimistic about what the future holds. important that the total real profits. "
Well, the first thing is what has happened so far. Almost exclusively, the big moments in the small percentage of this season that has been played have been courtesy of Anderson (the grand slam he pulled from Yankee Stadium on Sunday), Moncada (the two balls he threw in Cleveland come to mind, the followed two days later by the hit that won the game in the first game at home) and Jimenez (the two home runs he drilled on a rainy night in the Bronx).
That's the kind of progress that this organization expects to see from its young men, men who planned to be part of the core of a perennial contender. Anderson still leads the baseball with a batting average of .429, Moncada has reduced the strikeout rate that sent him to 217 Ks in 2018, and Jimenez has splashed the singles around the diamond while still learning the big league game .
It's not surprising that manager Rick Renteria has asked about the three before Monday's game on the South Side and gave the kind of progress reports he expected to deliver at this time of the season.
About Anderson: "I think it's finally the experience that comes into play, his understanding and self-confidence, he's worked very, very hard, he's always believed in himself, I know I've said it before, but it takes me some years" . Before you really start to trust in being there and being who you are and being comfortable in your skin. I think he really has worked very hard to do that. Besides that, the complexity of studying the opposition and doing many things that help him and giving him the opportunity to act as well as he does ".
In Moncada: "I think it feels very good, when you look at these guys from one shoot to another instead of one game to another, we are emphasizing everything we can because you do not want to give away" -bats as much as you can. Not only that, try to do the things that are necessary to keep your club in the game, be it on the mound, on the defensive, on the bases, whatever the case may be. "
About Jiménez: "He's having better at-bats, his approaches are much better, he's throwing some really tough pitches in the area, his pursuit index is being minimized at this point, which is a good indication of his approach. again in confidence, watching the ball and trying not to do too much, I think all those things combined with the work he's doing, all the conversations we've had with all of them, continue to help him, but let's not forget the great talent he has inside him and the innate ability will probably continue to give him the ability to be a very, very good hitter in the future. "
And on the farm, that future projected group is also flourishing, with Luis Robert and Zack Collins at the beginning of thunder. Dylan Cease is also throwing very well in his first Triple-A test.
This White Sox team might not be a threat to blow the doors of the American League this summer. Even if the Red Sox are fighting, the Yankees are injured and the Indians do not have much to fear, usurpers like the Mariners and the Rays have shown how difficult it will be for the White Sox to challenge the teams that finish in the Junior. The top step of the circuit.
But at this time, even for an alignment with about 50 percent of its members who fail to get results similar to those on a regular basis, production comes from the right places when it comes to the long-term health of this team . It is possible that another summer with fewer victories than the team and the amateur base expect, but it could improve the chances of winning a lot of long-term wins.
In a reconstruction, that is as important as it is done.
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