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White Sox: Starting Pitching Should Have Been A Bigger Priority

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CHICAGO, IL - MAY 17: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on May 17, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 17: Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on May 17, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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White Sox starting rotation woes could have been avoided this season if the front office would have prioritized pitching more this past offseason.

The Chicago White Sox are 17-21 after 38 games to start the season. Although they’re just four games behind a .500 record, they could perhaps have a much better record on the season if the front office had prioritized starting pitching this past offseason.

While many White Sox fans were upset the front office botched the signing of Manny Machado and didn’t attempt to sign Bryce Harper, the biggest mistake appears to have been not signing a solid starter. The Sox could have signed a number of available free agent pitchers but they only signed Ervin Santana to a minor league deal.

We all know how that turned out. Santana was designated for assignment after just three starts and now the Sox are relying on Manny Banuelos to fill his spot. It hasn’t worked out too well recently. The other acquisition the Sox made this offseason was trading for Ivan Nova from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Nova has pitched well recently as he’s recorded consecutive quality starts in his past two outings for the Sox. But Nova has been inconsistent and it will take more quality outings for him to provide more value for the Sox.

Currently, the Sox rank 29th in total pitching for this season with a 5.29 team ERA. The bullpen has had its struggles, but the starting pitching for the Sox has struggled the most. Reynaldo Lopez hasn’t been able to follow up his 14-strikeout performance with a quality start. Carlos Rodon will possibly miss the rest of this season.

With Rodon’s injury, the Sox are relying on Dylan Covey which hasn’t helped the team lately. The Sox could have signed Gio Gonzalez, Patrick Corbin or even Dallas Keuchel this past offseason. But they didn’t. The inability to sign a solid free agent starting pitcher has come back to bite the Sox this season.

The Sox could still sign Keuchel as he continues to wait for a team to begin the year with. However, they might be wise to wait until after the upcoming draft so they don’t lose a draft pick. The problem with waiting is that there will be other teams that will go after signing Keuchel as well. With the Sox not in contention at the moment, it will be hard for them to attract Keuchel unless they overpay for him.

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Changes need to be made for the Sox but it doesn’t appear that help will be coming soon for this franchise. If the starting rotation can’t improve soon, the Sox will have a long season ahead of them in 2019. There are still options available for the Sox but if this past offseason is any indication, the franchise likely won’t get in a bidding war for any free agent.

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