Over the course of 162 games, teams will have their peak and valley moments, especially early in the season, resulting in fans either praising their team or calling for wholesale changes to correct the flaws. It wasn’t long ago that the Chicago White Sox dropped three straight to the New York Yankees, leading some fans to criticize them for not being able to beat the top teams in the league and make immediate moves to fill some weaknesses.
The Chicago White Sox are looking for ways to beat good teams in the AL.
The Sox responded by taking four of six games from the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays, who had the best record in the majors at the time-with a three-game sweep of the Tigers sandwiched in between. So much for the ship sinking after the three-game set in New York, right? Not so fast.
Following the weekend sweep by the Houston Astros, the Sox still find themselves in first place of the American League Central. However, being over 70 games into the season shows that the flaws may be too big to ignore.
The Sox have done a terrific job so far of overcoming the losses of Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Nick Madrigal. With that said, the NFL-type injury report that the Sox keeps issuing each game is not a recipe for sustained success.
General Manager Rick Hahn knows this and is tasked with exhausting every option to solidify this team. His ability to have found guys such as Yermin Mercedes, Billy Hamilton, Danny Mendick and Brian Goodwin was gold early on but if an injury didn’t get them (Hamilton), the cruel reality of a player’s natural regression (Mercedes) did.
His acquisitions of Lance Lynn and Liam Hendriks as well as the decision to bring Carlos Rodon back has to give fans some confidence in his ability to identify quality players and bring them into the fold. To fill the void at second base, media speculation has been centered on Adam Frazier of the Pirates while Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the Sox are discussing a trade with Arizona to bring Eduardo Escobar to the southside. An additional bat that could play the outfield could also be on the wish list.
Hahn doesn’t have to make a move immediately as the upcoming schedule can buy him some time before the trade deadline on July 31. The Sox can get back to putting some wins as Pittsburgh, Seattle, Detroit, Minnesota, and Baltimore are on the docket before the All-Star break. With the exception of the Mariners, each of those teams is well behind the leaders in their divisions.
The scouting department will have a good chance to look up close at those teams to see who might be able to be brought over in a deal. Additionally, the potential late-season returns of Jimenez and Robert along with Michael Kopech coming back possibly earlier than that could provide a needed boost for the playoff run.