Monday, June 20, 2016
Robert Frost once said 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'.
...or was it Stevie Wonder?
Right, anyway. SOMEBODY once said that. And it sums up the White Sox right now.
April and May they were unstoppable. Right now they've come back down to earth, and they've come way below a lot of the teams they effortlessly beat down on. The tables have turned pretty quickly- now the Indians and Royals are bopping around 1st place, and the Sox can't do anything about it.
Look, they've worked on upgrades. Tim Anderson's stepped in for Jimmy Rollins at short, which is working a little better. Tyler Saladino's one of the few bench players who's got a positive batting average, which...doesn't bode well. At least the guys up in the lineup are still hitting- Abreu, Eaton, Garcia, Frazier. There aren't a ton of problems there.
At this point, it's the back half of the rotation that's completely fallen apart. Look, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana are absolutely unstoppable, striking out everybody and being really dominating together. They're not the problem. Carlos Rodon came into this season with a ton of progress left, and it's showing. He's given up a ton of starts and, even for a third starter, has been very unimpressive.
Those last two spots have been even worse, suffice to say. John Danks and Mat Latos had them to start, but they lost the ability to avoid right-down-the-middle shots, and were disposed of. Miguel Gonzalez was shipped in from Baltimore, and hasn't done a hell of a lot. James Shields has a current ERA of 21.81...so, any predictions of his arrival in Chicago jumpstarting the comeback died a quick but agonizing death.
It's very sad- in April I thought everything had finally clicked, that Robin V had finally put something amazing together. And then it fell apart. Look, progress has definitely been made, but if they want to solve it this, or next season, they need to retool the farm system and make sure the kids are ready when they come up. Or at least find some prospects, maybe by getting rid of Shields, and pipe in new blood now. The guys who are in are working- the back half of the pitching staff, and the positions that are being solved by musical-chairing random veterans are not.
Still, the problems are solvable. Not necessarily by September, but...at least in the foreseeable future.
Coming Tomorrow- Of the three stellar Pirates outfielders...the only one I haven't customized so far this year.