Jun 20, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Alejandro De Aza (30) catches a fly ball in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago White Sox Morning BP: Contenders or pretenders?

The question for Saturday as the Chicago White Sox will play their third game against the Minnesota Twins in this four-game series is: Are the White Sox contenders or pretenders?

At times this year, even at times this past week, they have shown they can be be contenders, but the way they’ve played the past couple nights has shown just how many weaknesses they have.

The back end of the rotation is tough to trust. Case in point being last night, with Hector Noesi giving up four earned runs in a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Today, with Andre Rienzo, none of us can be truly sure about what to expect when he releases the first pitch of a game.

With Chris Sale, we know roughly 95 percent of the time we’ll see a top performance, and recently with John Danks and Jose Quintana they will be solid most of time, at least that is the case lately.

At the plate, Adam Eaton is finally hitting the ball and reaching base with consistency, and Jose Abreu just hit his 21st home run of the season.

Again, just like with the starting rotation, the batting order has its share of question marks, but it is the pitching that concerns me the most.

Then there is the bullpen. They have to be one of the most inconsistent units in all of baseball. When the game is on the line, I cringe because they don’t see to be able to handle the pressure. When the game is well in hand, they pitch well.

This pattern has been occurring all season, and let’s be honest with each other, this ball club doesn’t have an actual closer on the active roster.

Just last night, the White Sox needed their bullpen to get them to the 10th inning in a 4-4 tied game, a game where they rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie the score in the first place.

The bullpen responded with Daniel Webb allowing one run on no hits and two walks in 1.1 innings of relief. Ronald Belisario allowed the game-winning hit, and that was that.

This team really needs to begin deciding if they are going to be contenders in the AL Central or pretenders.

They are only five games back of the Detroit Tigers in the division, but if they want to battle their way back up from fourth place in the Central, they must make some changes to their roster or before the end of this month, I believe they will be out of the running for the division.

Thoughts?

In other White Sox news:
• Here are the MLB standings.

• The Chicago Tribune says “Jose Abreu isn’t into nickname game.”

• Here is what the Chicago Sun-Times had on last night’s 5-4 loss.

• The official White Sox site says the White Sox aren’t going away quietly.

• ESPN asks in a video: Tanaka or Abreu?

Robin Ventura says the White Sox strike out too much writes CSN Chicago.

• At Southside Showdown we asked the question: “Should the White Sox take a chance on J.J. Putz?”

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Tags: Chicago White Sox Hector Noesi Jose Abreu

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