White Sox search for a true ace this season is done. They’ve found their ace as a former top prospect appears to have started to live up to his potential.
The 2018 season was rough not only for the White Sox, but for starting pitcher Lucas Giolito. In his first full season as a major league starting pitcher, Giolito ended the year with the worst ERA of any pitcher.
Despite having 10 wins, Giolito’s 2018 season was abysmal. His ERA for that season was 6.13 and many Sox fans began to wonder if he would ever live up to his potential. Giolito was once the top prospect in MLB when he was with the Washington Nationals organization.
His brief major league stint in 2016 with the Nationals wasn’t great. Giolito had a 0-1 record and 6.75 ERA in six total appearances with Washington that season. He would be traded to the White Sox in December of 2016 along with Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning in exchange for Adam Eaton.
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After getting off to a slow start with Triple-A Charlotte in 2017, Giolito finally found his groove and was promoted to the Sox later that year. He would start seven games for the Sox to end the 2017 season and showed flashes of his ace potential. In his seven starts, Giolito had a 3-3 record with a 2.38 ERA.
This was nothing but good news for Giolito as it appeared that he would carry positive momentum into the 2018 season. Unfortunately, he didn’t but thankfully he didn’t give up after a disastrous 2018 campaign. Giolito could have allowed his poor 2018 season to negatively affect him going into this season, but he didn’t and the Sox are benefitting from that.
On Thursday night, Giolito pitched a complete game shutout on the road against a tough Houston Astros team. This was the first complete game shutout for the Sox since 2016 when Chris Sale accomplished this feat. With Carlos Rodon injured and unable to realize his ace potential, the Sox appear to have found their ace in Giolito.
So far, Giolito has a team-leading 6-1 record with a 2.77 ERA through nine starts. He’s already pitched two complete games this season although one of those starts was shortened due to rain. Giolito however, has been the best starting pitcher for a Sox team that is struggling with its starting rotation.
The Sox truly need an ace this season and it’s great to see Giolito possibly fill that void. If Giolito can continue to perform well throughout this season, he could surely take over as the ace of the Sox and it would be great for the future of this current rebuild.