White Sox rebuild getting tougher to watch for many fans as the team has lost six consecutive games, but there will be more meaningful games ahead.
Have you ever watched a television show only because you’ve already invested too much time into it? That’s more or less what Chicago White Sox baseball is becoming.
White Sox baseball can be hard to watch and at times can be extremely disappointing and upsetting. But it’s getting better. The Sox have been trending upwards, winning almost half of their last 30 games and taking three of their last five series before Tuesday.
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In addition to getting better, more importantly, it’s becoming meaningful.
The team is playing their prospects more and they’re playing them in impactful roles. Starting pitchers, starting outfielders and starting infielders, it’s an important time for all of the young players to learn the game by playing and learning from others.
And yes, the Sox are playing guys like Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Matt Davidson, Dan Palka and Kevan Smith every day, but now the focus is on pitching, the bread and butter of the White Sox organization.
In the next few weeks or months, every White Sox game will mean something despite essentially have been out of the playoff race since May. The Sox are currently in the position to call up at least one of three prominent Triple-A prospects between Michael Kopech, Spencer Adams, and Jordan Stephens. All three are highly-rated and all three have Major League talent.
The promotion of at least one of these players can possibly move James Shields out of the rotation or into a long-relief role simply because everyone else on the rotation is a part of the rebuilding process. Shields might even be a piece in a trade package at the trade deadline. But at the moment, Shields is the one starting pitcher that does not currently hold much long-term value for the future. That translates into meaningful baseball every other game day of the week.
Dylan Covey, the pleasant surprise of the season, is becoming can’t miss baseball. Carlos Rodon follows Covey’s start. Rodon is finally back and has looked sharp yet rusty. He was projected to be this staff’s ace for the next few seasons. Following Rodon is Reynaldo Lopez, the current ace of the staff. After Lopez is Lucas Gioltio. Giolito might be the most frustrating prospect to watch beside Moncada but he’s definitely the most concerning. Every single one of his starts is meaningful.
Now add Kopech, Adams, or Stephens. Not to mention the other pitching prospects in the Minors. The rotation will feature Covey, Rodon, Lopez, Giolito, and Kopech/Adams/Stephens. Literally, every game will be started by a prospect and that itself should be incredibly exciting for the impatient White Sox fan.
Watching key prospects play day after day is what is going to keep White Sox baseball relevant and intriguing. The games might not be very fun to watch right now and they probably won’t win but they are and will continue to be meaningful. Every start, defensive play, base-running opportunity, inning pitched, and at-bat is meaningful for all of these players.
So maybe it’s not like television series that has run out of interesting plotlines and novelties, but maybe it’s a show that starts off slow but gets better with every season.