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Chicago White Sox: Two stars could have helped the offense

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(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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How good would Kyle Schwarber or Nelson Cruz look in a Chicago White Sox uniform right now? More importantly, could not signing either during the winter come back to haunt the Southsiders? Both were available in the offseason and each would have been welcome additions to a lineup that currently lacks offensive firepower.

The Chicago White Sox needs more consistency in their offensive game right now.

Each would have been perfect designated hitters with Schwarber providing an added benefit of playing left field regularly which would allow the more defensively challenged Eloy Jimenez to move to a strict DH role. Adding Cruz would have taken away the Minnesota Twins’ most valuable offensive weapon over the last two seasons. Either of them would have also been terrific protection in the lineup for the likes of Jimenez, Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, or Yoan Moncada.

Schwarber has been on a tear for the Washington Nationals during the month of June. Going into Tuesday’s games, he posted a slash line of .293/.368/.783 to go along with 15 homers and 29 RBI. He then added another home run in Tuesday’s contest extending his hot streak.

Cruz, at 40 years of age, has yet to show signs of slowing down in Minnesota. Going into Tuesday, he has posted a batting average of .299 with 17 homers and 42 RBI for the Twins. Conversely, the White Sox Yermin Mercedes’ Hollywood-like start to the year has hit the brakes as he is posting a line of .164/.203/.197 with zero homers in June.

The Sox surely could use offensive production such as that of Schwarber and Cruz but plucking either of those two from their current teams will not happen. The Twins will not deal Cruz within the division and the Nationals, behind Schwarber’s historic power surge, find themselves back in the hunt for the National League East title.

The current injury situation, recent lack of production by replacement players, and slumps by Abreu and Moncada put a spotlight on a depth issue many did not think would be a problem back in spring training. Yermin Mercedes, Zach Collins, and Andrew Vaughn might have been nice players to come off the bench and spot-start every now and then but they were forced into action early on and while they have made some contributions, they lack the offensive punch either Schwarber or Cruz brings to a team.

As currently constructed, the White Sox might be good enough to win the division. However, despite how good the starting pitching has been, the offense needs to pick it up and score runs or it will be a struggle to make the postseason. There are no guarantees that when Jimenez and Robert return each will revert to form and jump-start the offense. Thus, not having signed either Schwarber or Cruz in the offseason is a tough pill to swallow.

Related Story. Eloy Jimenez has a very fun Instagram update. light

General Manager Rick Hahn did some nice work over the offseason, but he needs to fill existing holes now and can’t let offensive talent that can make a difference slip by like it did over the winter. Whether that comes from within the farm system or via trade, the White Sox have to find answers to make a run at a title.

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