In both the Grapefruit and Cactus League, the standings mean absolutely nothing. It is honestly probably a bad idea to even have a record or standings because they literally couldn’t mean less. Even worse than that is they can’t be used as a tool to judge anyone. The teams who win the most in spring training are teams that either have had good luck or just happen to have a lead when they decide to end it. For that reason, the Chicago White Sox fans have nothing to worry about.
The Sox have a record of 3-8 which is very bad if it were real. The real White Sox has a better chance of starting 8-3 than 3-8 so that is good news. The San Diego Padres, who are the National League version of the White Sox, don’t have a winning record either. They don’t seem to be worried and neither should you be.
Why don’t we need to worry? Well, there are a few answers. One answer is that they aren’t playing full nine-inning games. They are also just ending innings whenever the defensive manager feels like it. There was an instance this season when the reigning MVP in Jose Abreu came up to bat with the bases loaded and the Texas Rangers just decided to end the inning. It is in no way, shape, or form, real in terms of winning and losing.
The lineup is also never what it would be in a real game. The White Sox will make a starting lineup close to what they want in real games but then throw out a pitcher that has no chance of pitching in the Major Leagues this year. There is also the opposite in the possibility of an elite pitcher going with a subpar batting lineup. With very little consistency with the playing time, it is impossible to use the records against teams.
There are also pitchers who try different things in spring training. Maybe someone wants to try to perfect their slider so they throw it three times in a row. Well, a good MLB hitter will crush that if he knows it is coming. It doesn’t matter for the pitcher as long as he gets his reps in before the season. All of these things have to be taken into consideration. It is players and managers getting themselves ready for the real games that count.
As spring training continues on, you might start to see the good teams start to win more games because they are going to start using their MLB players more often. The White Sox are certainly a team that is going to benefit from that as we move along here. It is fun when your team is winning in spring training but it is even better when the players are just focused more on being ready for the season.