Can the 2019 White Sox be the 2018 Atlanta Braves?
Pitching Improvements for 2019 Season
For the 2019 White Sox pitching to really improve, Rodon needs to be healthy and consistent, Lopez needs to be at least as good as last year, and the White Sox need to get something from Lucas Giolito, who is the biggest question mark there. His 2018 was atrocious and he hasn’t been good this spring.
He allowed more runs and walked more batters than any other pitcher in the AL last season. Homer Bailey, Jason Hammel, Matt Moore, and Giolito were the only pitchers in MLB last year to pitch at least 100 innings and have an ERA over 6.00. Bailey was a salary dump this offseason, and Moore and Hammel are just trying to hold on to their major league careers.
So can the 2019 White Sox be the 2018 Braves and shock the world? It’s pretty unlikely. A lot would have to go right for this to occur. If the Sox are competitive, maybe the pitching staff can add Dylan Cease, who could help them the rest of the way. Maybe the team will be competitive to the point where Rick Hahn will add a veteran piece to help for the stretch run. The Braves did that in 2018 when they added Gausman.
Hopefully, this is the last season for quite a while where making the playoffs feels like an impossibility for the White Sox.