1 – The Defensive needs to step up its game for the Chicago White Sox.
The first obvious flaw in their game so far is the sloppy defense. In the four-game set against the Angles through the first game against the Mariners, the White Sox committed six errors and allowed seven unearned runs.
Despite a solid performance from ace Lucas Giolito on Opening Night, he earned a no-decision as a failed double play attempt set up Mike Trout to do what Mike Trout does.
In the second game of the season, the current MVP Jose Abreu, unfortunately, mishandled a sharp liner at first off the bat of Shohei Ohtani which allowed him to move up to third and scored on more Mike Trout damage. In the fifth, while up 7-4, Adam Eaton misses a flyball right off the bat of Anthony Rendon scoring a pair. The White Sox would win this game, but it was not pretty.
Lance Lynn started game three smoothly, but the defense would ultimately be the team’s demise again. After two solid innings, Zack Collins slipped trying to field a short comebacker that allowed David Fletcher first base. Lynn retired Ohtani and Trout and the error was seemingly harmless. That is until Rendon’s pop fly in shallow center field. Luis Robert called off an arm-waving Tim Anderson and misjudged the pop fly’s trajectory as it bounced off his head letting Fletcher score. Rendon would come around to score after the extra out allowed Jarad Walsh to hit.
Fortunately, the sixth error did not result in unearned runs but luck will not always be on the team’s side. Catching the ball is the number one rule in baseball and the White Sox are not doing that right now. Given Tony La Russa’s reputation, I’m assuming these defensive mishaps are not sliding and are being addressed.
Yoan Moncada has shown improvement at the hot corner as displayed by his excellent play against the Angles, making an off-balance throw to get speedy Fletcher. Tim Anderson has talked about his defense being a primary focus of improvement this past offseason. Unfortunately, his leg injury in Sunday’s game will keep him out of the lineup for at least the rest of this Seattle series. When he returns to the field, hopefully, we will see an improved infield on defense.