White Sox offense ranks in bottom half of MLB through two weeks of play. The South Siders haven’t provided much run support for starting pitching.
The Chicago White Sox have struggled to start the 2017 season offensively. Although the Sox have a modest record at 7-7, the South Siders have struggled to score consistently this season, and its cost some of the starting pitchers so far.
Through 14 games played, the Sox rank 27th in MLB in total offense with just 49 runs scored. The Sox have had games where they’ve scored more than 10 runs, but a majority of their games have been low scoring this season.
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This has hurt the starting pitching as the Sox offense isn’t providing enough run support consistently. Jose Quintana, who has been a victim of lack of run support throughout his career is dealing with this issue again this season. Quintana is once again at the bottom of the league in terms of run support this season. According to ESPN.com, Quintana’s run support average is 1.33. Derek Holland, who suffered his first loss of the season on Monday has a run support average of 2.33. James Shields run support average is 5, which is encouraging to start the season. Miguel Gonzalez has an average of 6.67 of run support so far, the highest of Sox starting pitchers.
However, the Sox offense needs to support all of their starting pitchers if this team will have sustained success throughout the season. There are a few players that are struggling to start the season. Jose Abreu, who had a slow start to 2016, is off to another slow start in 2017. Through 14 games, Abreu is hitting .200 with no home runs and just one RBI. Todd Frazier, who hit just .225 in 2016 is hitting .111 with one home run and one RBI for the Sox.
Tim Anderson, who excelled as a rookie last season is off to horrible start at the plate. The young shortstop hasn’t sniffed the mendoza line with a .164 average and has just one walk on the season. The Sox also have issues in the lineup in regards to their center field and designated hitter options. Jacob May, who won the center field job out of Spring Training doesn’t look like he belongs in the majors. The outfielder has failed to record a hit in 24 at-bats.
Although May is struggling, there aren’t many internal options to replace the outfielder. Charlie Tilson is still recovering from an injury, and the Sox traded Peter Bourjos before the start of the season. The Sox could start Leury Garcia, but he’s better positioned to come off the bench as a pinch runner or hitter.
The Sox problem at DH could be solved with Matt Davidson, but they also need another steady left-handed bat in the lineup. With Melky Cabrera as a switch hitter, the Sox are missing a valuable left-handed hitter that can hit left-handed pitching. Cody Asche is not getting the job done. Asche similar to May doesn’t look like he belongs in the majors but the Sox don’t have many options to replace him.
While there are some players who are struggling to start the season offensively, Davidson and Avisail Garcia have provided the Sox offense with much needed support. Garcia is leading the American League in hitting at .423 and Davidson has 10 RBI’s early this season with a .324 batting average. Garcia leads the Sox with 13 RBI’s and three home runs. Both players weren’t expected to start the season this well, and they could regress as the season continues. However, its nice to see two players who were once regarded as top prospects have success early this season.
The Sox aren’t expected to contend, and there will be growing pains with the offense. However, the pitching will suffer from lack of run support if the Sox offense can’t improve throughout this season. With an offense struggling to start another season, expect more frustrating Sox games to watch.