With the terrible play and results from this past weekend, some White Sox fans are already proclaiming the rebuild a failure. Here’s why you shouldn’t.
It was a terrible Friday through Sunday for the White Sox. They were soundly beaten by the previously struggling Boston Red Sox, including being shut down convincingly by former ace Chris Sale. They made little league type errors in the field by throwing the ball all over while Boston runners ran circles around them. At one point, Boston had nine consecutive hits en route to a nine run inning. Things looked pretty bleak from a micro viewpoint.
But, this team is not in a position to be looked at in small sample sizes. In fact, no team should be judged totally on three games at the beginning of May. Especially one that is still at the beginning of their rebuild. Yes, it was ugly. Yes, it looked horrible and was not a good look in front of some of the biggest crowds in a couple of years on the south side. But, in the grand scheme of things, it meant absolutely………….nothing.
Take a look at the roster. There are maybe three position players that will be here when the team contends. TA, YOYO and Pito. For those not familiar that’s Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and Jose Abreu. And shame on you for not knowing that if you didn’t. On the pitching side, the Sox have only possible pieces of a future rotation. Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Carlos Rodon was on that list but his latest injury and possible Tommy John surgery makes him a huge question for the future.
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So, you have five players on a Sox team that might be here when they start contending. And you’re upset that the team isn’t as competitive as you hoped they would be? Let’s get serious and stop blaming the team.
Now, there is plenty of blame to go to the front office for some of their transgressions lately and in the past. A guy by the name of Manny Machado should be on this team if the owner wasn’t so cheap. Perhaps a couple of other free agent signings could have been made to make this team a little more competitive. But that’s what happens when you put all your FA eggs in one basket and then pull some of those eggs at the last minute. You get Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay.
Now those screaming for the Sox to sign Dallas Keuchel aren’t thinking this through. First of all, they would lose their second-round draft choice next month. At this point, that makes no sense, so stop asking for that. They aren’t trading anybody at this point to make the team better either so don’t ask for that. But, there are many reasons to be positive about this teams future.
Anderson is April’s player of the month in the American League and has brought some much-needed attitude to the team. Moncada is showing why he was rated as the top prospect in all of MLB lately. The move to third base has been huge for him both offensively and defensively. Abreu is having his typical type of year after a slow start. His presence in the clubhouse also cannot be overstated.
Now let’s look at who is coming soon. And yes, nothing is guaranteed but these guys look like the real deal:
Luis Robert just moved to Double-a Birmingham after tearing up High-A pitching. He’s not ready to be in Chicago just yet though. Let’s let him progress in Double-A, then Triple-A before bringing him up.
Dylan Cease is close. He pitched two great games to start the season before a couple of less than stellar performances. The last start he looked on top of his game throwing 99 mph heat along with nasty 83 mph breaking stuff that had hitters looking ridiculous. He had one stretch where he gave up three straight hits allowing two runs while going five strong innings.
Zack Collins is looking closer. His approach at the plate is strong. He shortens up his swing with two strikes and hits solid line drives to the gaps. And he obviously has the power to hit 25 homeruns a year. He’ll probably be up in September.
Nick Madrigal has been exactly who the Sox thought they were getting with the fourth overall pick in last years draft. Great bat control and eye who just will not strike out. He’ll be a plate setter for the rest of the lineup when he gets up here. Put him at leadoff in front of Moncada and watch the Sox get early leads.
Of course, next year Michael Kopech will be back in the rotation after recovering from his Tommy John surgery as well. Zack Burdi is back pitching and could be up later this year to show if he’s going to be the closer of the future. Alec Hansen is also starting to return to pitching and has looked as good as he did before injuries got to him last year. Dane Dunning won’t be back throwing until later next year but he was also one of the top pitching prospects before he was designated for Tommy John surgery.
I’m no optimist by any stretch of the imagination, so don’t think I’m looking at this team with Sox colored glasses. There are many faults and many issues on the field right now. I’m still questioning the organization’s ability to develop players in the minors. I’m still upset about last offseason’s free agent fiasco. I feel like we as fans were lied to by the front office.
However, looking at just the product on the field and what’s coming, I feel comfortable that the rebuild is still looking strong. Injuries have set it back a year but it’s still going very well. Don’t look at daily stats for guys in the minors. They’re gonna go through bad stretches sometimes.
Don’t look at a three-game stretch by the major league club and call the rebuild a disaster. Be upset about how cheap the Sox owner is. Be cautious with how confident you are with their front office. But, be patient with the players on the field now and those coming soon. It’s going to be ok, Sox fans……..I think!