Chicago White Sox: 2nd half storylines
What are some storylines for the second half of the 2015 Chicago White Sox season? Here are four storylines that have my attention before the start of the second half of the season this Friday, as the team hosts a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals.
• Will the White Sox buy or sell?
This is a question that will be decided at some point by the end of this month. The bigger question is: if they sell, who goes? Jeff Samardzija would likely be dealt, though I am wondering if anyone else would go?
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Alexei Ramirez would be a good candidate to move; however, his contract and poor season make it hard to get anything of value in return. There could be waiver deals in August, but if Samardzjia goes by July 31, it likely means the team is focused on next season.
On the flip side, if the Sox come out of the gates playing good baseball, they will buy a bat or two. My big question is what is out there at a position of need?
The biggest position I always talk about has been catcher, but considering we are looking at short-term needs, third base is more important.
Catcher is a position that is key, but for a team that is struggling to hit home runs third base, is a position where power is critical. While I would love to find a good catcher, it costs a lot to find a good one on the trade market.
Acquiring a third baseman with talent won’t be easy, but there are many more quality third basemen than there are quality catchers at the MLB level.
• Is this run a mirage?
While the Sox have been playing good baseball lately, my question is simple: Will it keep going?
I think a lot of this run has to do with great pitching and improved defense, but the overall lack of offense is a serious concern. The only way for the Sox to continue their success is for the current position players to improve, not to mention a bat or two to help the struggling offense.
Jul 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) reacts after coming out of the game during the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
• How long can the pitching carry the team?
The Sox pitching this year has been good. The defense struggled early, and with Samardzija heating up and Chris Sale on fire, the top of the rotation looks set.
That is barring a deal, though. My belief is this: if the Sox stay hot to start the second half, Samardzija will stay and the pitching will hold things together for a while. If not, expect another losing season.
• Are they going to contend come September?
In all seriousness, I doubt the Sox will be in the race late in the year. They could make things interesting for a little while, something that wasn’t expected just a couple of weeks ago.
With so many teams fighting for a wild card, it will be tough, and since they are only 5.5 games back, it is not out of the question. It isn’t likely due to the number of teams they will have to beat out for a postseason spot, considering how bad their offense has been.
Just by looking at the first series in the second half, it should get interesting early.
With the Kansas City Royals in town and the reunion weekend, it will be vital for the team to get off to a fast start in order to have any chance at contending in September.
Next: White Sox trade revisit: Hector Santiago out, Adam Eaton in