The Chicago White Sox have stumbled out of the gate in 2015, but that does not mean the season is over. The amount of talent on this team is evident, as team owner Jerry Reinsdorf did not allow Rick Hahn to break the bank bringing in good ballplayers for this slow start.
The beginning to this season should be manager Robin Ventura‘s wake up call to improve his game management or think about a different career. (Note: this is not an article promoting the firing of Ventura, merely a put-on-warning-type article.)
I have consistently stood up for Ventura in the past, and am generally against mid-season coaching changes which is why there is time for this season to get turned around.
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This team has shown glimpses of its potential, but they cannot fully unlock that potential under Ventura’s current strategy. From bench use to bullpen handling, there are many ways for Ventura to improve.
While it ultimately comes down to the players, they have not been consistently put into a good situations to succeed. In terms of positions players, Emilio Bonifacio was brought in to play the ultimate utility man/pinch-hitter, a role that has been given to Gordon Beckham.
Beckham seems to come into the game nearly every day for Conor Gillaspie at third while Bonifacio rarely hits for Carlos Sanchez at second base and only seems to come in as a pinch runner for Adam LaRoche, therefore never getting to showcase his bat or glove. As a result, both Bonifacio and Gillaspie have struggled with consistency at the dish.
The bullpen, while being a bright spot, has had some blemishes. Ventura’s use of closer David Robertson has been one of those deficiencies. Robertson has appeared in 21 games, yet has only had 13 save opportunities.
I do not think it is a coincidence that Robertson had two of his three blown saves this year in Toronto this past week, Ventura has tired him out. Coupled with the fact Jake Petricka has been getting hit hard, with a .348 batting average against, a potential downfall for the bullpen is in the mix.
If Ventura cannot change how he manages the game, this team will continue to under-perform. And if this team continues to under-perform, the calls for Ventura’s job may be too loud for Reinsdorf and Hahn to ignore.