White Sox: The Ups and Downs of Rebuilding

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 07: Lucas Giolito
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 07: Lucas Giolito /

As the White Sox enter season two of their rebuild, expect there to be a roller coaster of emotions.

The Ups

The White Sox have now entered what Rick Hahn has called stage two of the rebuild. Where we now watch the development, or lack thereof, of the young guns the team has acquired recently. This will require fans to have the most patience and resist the urge to have quick knee-jerk reactions. Let’s take a look at a few things as we look back at the first week of the season.

The young starting pitching has been a bright spot. Many expected the youngsters to struggle through their first full season in the rotation. However, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer all had good first starts to the season. They are going to have their struggles but there should be more highs than lows with this group.

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Giolito struggled some in his first outing but showed a lot of grit in battling through and getting a solid six innings in. Lopez had a dominant fastball and looked like the top of the rotation starter we all hoped he’d be. Fulmer was surprising with a very solid performance that not many were expecting based on his spring training performance.

As for the young position players, Matt Davidson and Tim Anderson showed why the Sox targeted bringing them to the team. Both have found their power stroke early on and are swinging the bat well. Yolmer Sanchez has been a huge surprise offensively as he tried to stake his claim to be a full-time part of the future of this team. Veteran Jose Abreu has been at his typical All-Star level.

The Downs

As for the downside, Yoan Moncada still struggles with the breaking ball and strikes out too much for a leadoff guy. He’s off to another slow start, but his plate discipline in working walks is still one of his greater talents. Hopefully when it warms up, so will he.

Injuries to some of our future stars at the beginning of the year may not be concerning yet but it’s something to keep an eye on. Both Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez have been delayed in starting the minor league schedule due to hopefully minor injuries. Robert injured his thumb sliding into second base in a spring training game and could be out until May. Jimenez is dealing with a mild strain of his left pectoral muscle and is slowly getting back into baseball activities. Both of these injuries are minor at the moment and don’t seem to be long-term issues.

Jake Burger, of course, is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles suffered while running out a ground ball in spring training. This is much more serious in two ways. First, it delays an entire year of development that he sorely needed. Secondly, it is a major injury and could affect his entire baseball career.

Next: White Sox Lose Home Opener to Detroit

During this rebuild there will be highs, lows and unanticipated surprises. The most important word for Sox fans this year is……..patience. The future looks bright, but, it’ll get ugly before it gets better.