White Sox: Key Observations from Season-Opening Road Trip

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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White Sox come home after winning two ballgames to start the season on the road. The team still has some things to work on but there were some positive signs from the road trip.

White Sox fans were on edge after Monday’s loss to the Cleveland Indians. The team had a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning that they couldn’t hold as the bullpen imploded. However, the White Sox were able to split their brief two-game series with Cleveland with an 8-3 win on Wednesday.

With the victory, the Sox will enter their home opener that was rescheduled for this Friday against the Seattle Mariners with a 2-3 record. That record could actually be much better if not for some poor defense and weak efforts from the Sox relief pitchers. Despite the lackluster start for the Sox, there have been some positive signs from other players.

The Sox aren’t expected to have a winning record this season, but better results from some of their younger players can help the team certainly avoid another 100 loss year. There has to be some positive development for the younger Sox players that will be a part of the future for this team and fans are starting to see that growth happen early this season.

Yoan Moncada Continues Hot Start

The former top overall prospect Yoan Moncada continues to show great development to begin this season. After finishing 2018 with a league-high 217 strikeouts and just a .235 batting average, Moncada appears to have put that behind him quickly. On Wednesday in the Sox 8-3 win over the Indians, Moncada hit a mammoth two-run home run at Progressive Field. He would finish the game with two hits in three at-bats and also had two walks.

Through 5 games, Moncada has a .450/.522/.900 slash line with a 1.422 OPS. Surely those numbers won’t be that high towards the end of this season, but if Moncada can put together perhaps an All-Star year in 2019, it will bode well for the Sox current rebuild. Moncada’s development will always be an important step in the Sox rebuild and it could be going in the right direction now.

Starting Pitching Putting Together Quality Starts

It started on Sunday with Lucas Giolito flirting with a no-hitter against the Kanas City Royals. It continued on Wednesday with Carlos Rodon pitching six innings and recording nine strikeouts. In their last three games, Sox starting pitchers have each had quality starts in their respective outings.

Ivan Nova was the only Sox pitcher to not get a win for his efforts but the team could surely use more outings like they’ve gotten from their starters over the past three games. The Sox starting rotation is still mostly young at the top, but veterans such as Nova and Ervin Santana could possibly help the team throughout this season. Having multiple starting pitchers able to pitch deep into ballgames will help the Sox bullpen from being overused.

Next. Yoan Moncada Continues to Show Improvement Early. dark

Fringe Players Still Hurting Team

Daniel Palka has yet to record his first base hit of the season. Yolmer Sanchez apparently can’t hit or field anymore and Dylan Covey has become unreliable out of the bullpen. Each of these aforementioned players won’t be a part of the future of this Sox team but at the moment, they’re not producing well. It is early but if the Sox are going to have any chance of ending 2019 with a winning record, they will need better results from fringe players.