Cleat Geeks

Dear White Sox Fans….Relax

Dear White Sox fans, relax. This is only the beginning:

With the White Sox’s 2nd consecutive postponed game in Minnesota, it’s time for White Sox fans to relax about the team’s recent struggles.

After three weeks into the season, the Chicago White Sox are sitting in 3rd place of the AL Central at 4-8. The Sox started the season 3-2 after their 6-game road trip against the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays before falling to 4-7 after their 6- game home stand against the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays. On Thursday, the Sox started their 7-game road trip in Minnesota and lost 4-0 before their Friday’s and Saturday’s game being postponed due to weather.

Many White Sox fans are becoming frustrated with the Sox’s overall performance from the offensive perspective to the pitching perspective.

Image result for yoan moncada white sox

Photo by; Baseball Prospectus

But it is time for the fans to relax and here is why:

First off, let’s relax about Yoan Moncada. Moncada is now batting .184 AVG with a .298 OBP and has struck out 24 times in 57 AB. Many fans are beginning to question the Cuban star if he’s going to be the superstar that he’s supposed to become. Let’s remember a couple of things.
He is 22 years old
He is playing in his first full season of MLB games.
He has played little to no games in the cold weather.
It’s understandable why Sox fans are concerned about Yoan Moncada but they need to slow down and take a deep breath. Many all-stars such as Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Jose Altuve and Francisco Lindor struggled when they first came up to the “Big Leagues.” Tim Anderson also struggled when he first came up to the MLB in 2016. Jose Abreu has a history of struggling in the early part of the season.

Despite the struggles that Yoan has had, there are some positives in his performance. Yoan is second in the team in walks with 8. (Matt Davidson leads the team in walks with 9) Yoan is also tied for the team lead in doubles with Avisail Garcia and leads the team with the number of pitches he has seen in at-bats with 229. Yoan has become more patient with his at-bats but the problem that Yoan has been having is being able to commit to his swings. Throughout the season, he will be able to learn to become more committed to his swings and become a better hitter throughout the season. (Just like in the 2017 season)

Image result for tim anderson white sox

Photo by; Chat Sports

Second, the offense in general. The White Sox started the season with an exploding offense as they scored 14 runs against the Royals in the season opener. In the second game of the season, the Sox were able to pull a comeback against the Royals as they scored 3 runs in the 8th to come back from a 3-1 deficit and defeat the Royals. After their series in Kansas City, fans have seen a trend with our beloved Sox: Inconsistency.
After the first game in the series vs Detroit, the Sox only scored 1 run in the next 2 games vs the Tigers. (Losing 6-1 on Saturday and 1-0 on Sunday). The team has also been inconsistent with bringing in runs with runners in scoring position.

As a team, the Sox are batting .234 AVG (8th in the AL) with a .324 OBP (7th in the AL) but have left many opportunities to score when they have runners in scoring position. Although the Sox may seem to be struggling with the offense, there are many positives that are going on with the team. The Sox are in the top five in HRs and have 94 hits despite the fact that they’ve only played 12 games. (To compare, the Cleveland Indians have 92 hits while playing 14 games).

There are also many players who are playing great with the bat such as Matt Davidson (Tied for 1st in the AL in Home Runs and leads the Sox in RBIs with 10) and Yolmer Sanchez (batting .289 with 2 Triples and is 2nd in the team RBIs with 9). Tim Anderson has also been a great surprise as he leads the team in stolen bases with 6 and has a batting average of .267 with an OBP of .327.

Image result for reynaldo lopez white sox

Photo by; Last Word On Baseball

Lastly, pitching struggles. The team’s pitching has raised eyebrows as the team is last in the AL with a 4.92 team ERA, 3rd in the AL with walks,12th in opponent’s batting average with .252 and 3rd in blown saves with 3.
Although the pitching hasn’t been performing to its standards, there are some positives to it. First off, Reynaldo Lopez has pitched great. In 2 starts, Lopez has only given up 1 earned run while allowing only 4 hits. Despite the 0-1 record, Reynaldo leads the team in ERA with a 0.67 (3rd best in the AL) and in strikeouts with 11. Bruce Rondon was called up to the Sox on April 8 and has looked impressive. In his first performance, Rondon only faced 4 Detroit batters and struck them all out. Since then, Bruce has not looked back and has yet to have given up a hit, run or walk this season. Giolito’s stats may not the best on the team but don’t let those numbers fool you. Yes, Giolito has an ERA of 5.50 and leads the team in walks but here’s something to think about. This is Lucas’s first full season! Lucas has also little to none experience with pitching in the cold which has affected his control. Giolito is 23 years old and he is in his first full season, why should we put so much pressure on the kid? We should consider this season as a learning season for Lucas and rest of the young pitching staff. The pitching will come soon, just a matter of playing the waiting game.

The season hasn’t been pleasant for White Sox fans with the team struggles but they need to relax. It’s only April and this team is in a rebuilding phase. There will be moments where you’ll want to rip your hair out and scream from the top of your lungs with the team’s performance but that’s part of a rebuild. There will be ups and downs in this roller coaster of a season but we must learn how to enjoy the ride. It may not seem like it now but this is only the beginning of something special. R-E-L-A-X.

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