The All-Star game is done, and the Chicago White Sox and the rest of MLB are preparing for the second half of the regular season.
Here is what White Sox fans should be looking forward to in the second half.
• Will Jose Abreu lead the league in home runs and RBIs?
Right now, Abreu leads all of baseball with 29 home runs. If he can stay healthy, he should improve on those numbers dramatically, barring him wearing down.
The question is: will he lead the league in home runs?
It is quite possible and very likely. As for RBIs, it is looking as if he could take that title as well.
Abreu already has 73 RBIs, trailing Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera by two, who has 75. The interesting stat to watch on Abreu is his batting average.
While he is nowhere near the league lead at .292, the question is going to be will he finish over .300? With New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka being injured, Abreu is looking more and more as if he is a lock for American League Rookie of the Year.
• The non-waiver trade deadline
Who will be moved before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline?
That is anyone’s guess, but the White Sox will have many players on the block.
• The Waiver Period
This could get interesting. If Alejandro De Aza stays hot, could he be moved?
Viciedo may be tough to move during this period just because he is young and has big power potential; however, it could happen. If Matt Lindstrom can come back and prove to be effective, he could also be moved.
• The “Next” White Sox generation
Once trades happen, it should be interesting to see two things. First, what prospects they get back to add to their young core. Second, which prospects are brought up to start a new era of White Sox baseball. It will be interesting to start to see the type of team that GM Rick Hahn puts on the field. As the older players exit, it is now up to Hahn and his staff to bring in the next generation of White Sox players.
• Paul Konerko’s Final Game
If Konerko can stay healthy, his last game in a White Sox uniform will take place on September 28, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Field.
This will mark the end a long and brilliant White Sox career, as well as pass the torch to the next generation. It should be bittersweet to see Konerko leave the field for the last time ever, as his time as a White Sox player comes to a conclusion.
• Final Thought
Barring injury or fatigue, I expect Abreu to break several White Sox records in the second half. Expect trades and a lot of change in the next few months as the team heads into the offseason, which should be interesting.