White Sox: Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia Carrying Offense Early
White Sox sluggers carrying offense during early part of season. Will both players be able to keep up their recent hot streaks for South Siders?
The Chicago White Sox are off to a surprising 15-12 start after 27 games to start the season. With a myriad of injuries to the pitching staff, the Sox have been able to get by without two of their starting pitchers thus far. However, the offense has come to life lately thanks to Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia.
The Sox offense was next to last two weeks ago when they faced the defending American League Champion Cleveland Indians at home. Since then, the Sox offense has climbed in the rankings to 22nd in MLB. Although this isn’t high, it’s better than where they were at a few weeks ago.
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Abreu, who started his season slowly has been on fire over the past week for the Sox offensively. After not hitting a home run in his first 21 games, Abreu has hit four home runs over the past week, with two coming in the same game against the Detroit Tigers on April 29. Abreu raised his batting average from .157 on April 18 to .270 beginning play on Friday.
The Sox certainly needed more production from Abreu as the slugger wasn’t providing much offense to start this season. Abreu has six doubles and 14 RBI’s on the season, and he has seven multi-hit games in his last 10 contests. Although Abreu has been hot at the plate recently, he’s been surpassed by his teammate in the lineup.
Garcia, who entered the season with very little expectations is leading the Sox in batting average, home runs and RBI’s. The 25-year-old outfielder has five home runs with 23 RBI’s and leads the American League with a .371 batting average. Garcia has had one of his best starts to a season, and he could find a more prominent role in the batting lineup according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
With Garcia’s recent surge to start the season, moving him up higher in the batting order would be ideal but he still needs to show consistency. According to Sullivan, Renteria stated Garcia has had success batting sixth and generating what the Sox need. I wouldn’t move Garcia up higher in the batting lineup until he’s proven he can handle more responsibility batting third, fourth or fifth on a consistent basis.
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The Sox still need more production from the rest of their offens as Abreu and Garcia will struggle at times this season. If the Sox can get solid contributions from other players such as Melky Cabrera, Tim Anderson and Todd Frazier, this team can certainly continue to improve offensively. The Sox still have voids in the batting lineup, but for now fans are enjoying watching good baseball on the South Side.