White Sox: 2018 Could Be Big Year for Lucas Giolito

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08: Lucas Giolito
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08: Lucas Giolito /

White Sox pitcher had a solid end to 2017 season with the team, first in the organization. 2018 could be a big year for the right-handed starter.

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito had an impressive end to his first major league season with the organization in 2017. After not having success in his previous MLB stint with the Washington Nationals in 2016, Giolito has positive momentum heading into the 2018 campaign.

Giolito will be one of a few young starting pitchers for the Sox this upcoming season, and he will get his first taste of a full major league year. The 2012 first round draft pick of the Nationals hasn’t pitched a complete year in the majors yet and will have a lot to prove this season. After having a solid 2017, Giolito still has some things to work on for 2018.

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One of those things will be improving his strikeout rate. Last season, Giolito recorded just 34 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched. He will need to miss more bats in 2018 in order to have consistent success on the mount. Another thing Giolito will need to focus on is maintaining durability. He did a good job in pitching six or more innings in each of his seven starts in 2017. If he can pitch deep into games consistently this season, it will help the Sox bullpen greatly.

Giolito could be the Sox best pitcher to start this season. With Carlos Rodon still recovering from injury, and James Shields’ best days being behind him, Giolito has the opportunity to be the Sox Opening Day starter. The Sox starting rotation is young with Rodon, Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez. But they have veterans in Shields and Miguel Gonzalez.

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With the Sox having low expectations for 2018, Giolito doesn’t have to worry about pitching with added pressure on the mound. Although he’s in the majors, Giolito still needs more development. This will come with time. Once Giolito gains more confidence against major league hitters, he could become a force for the next contending Sox team.