Chicago White Sox: Preparing for a very big second half
The Chicago White Sox are about to get the second half of the season underway at home against the Houston Astros. That is going to set the tone for the rest of the season. They believe they are good enough to compete for the World Series and it isn’t farfetched at all. They currently lead the American League Central division by 8.0 games coming out of the All-Star break which is as nice as any lead in Major League Baseball.
They have reached this level of success while dealing with quite a bit of adversity. By now, you know all about the injuries that have plagued them so far this season. It all started in spring training when Eloy Jimenez went down with an injury that he sustained playing the outfield. He has yet to play this season so far.
About a month into the 2021 campaign, Luis Robert went down as well and hasn’t played since. That was a big blow because now the White Sox were missing two of their key bats in the middle of the order. Robert is also an elite defensive centerfielder. Luckily, the White Sox are going to have both Jimenez and Robert back in the lineup before August is over.
Things started to look really bad when it came out that Nick Madrigal will be out for the season. That was the first one where the injury was so bad that we knew we wouldn’t see the player until next season. This is the injury that the White Sox will probably try to address before the trade deadline late in July.
The injuries have not caused the Chicago White Sox to give up at any point.
Others like Yasmani Grandal, Tim Anderson, Adam Engel, Michael Kopech, Billy Hamilton, and Lance Lynn have all (or are currently) on the injured list as well. It has been tough but they are clearly a team that has that “next man up” mentality. If they go into the playoffs fully healthy, the American League is in trouble.
That “next man up” mentality has applied to lots of different players. We have seen a player like Billy Hamilton become a fan favorite as a result of it all. Andrew Vaughn has been one of the league’s best rookies which is extremely important for this organization. Guys like Yermin Mercedes, Zack Collins, Gavin Sheets, and Jake Burger amongst others have been welcomed surprises at different times as well.
It all gets going when those Astros take the field against the White Sox on Friday. It is the first time that Houston will be in Chicago since their cheating scandal was revealed to the world so it should be interesting to see how they are welcomed when they take their positions for the first time. The White Sox were swept by the Astros in Houston a few weeks ago during their only low point of the season so far. You can expect the White Sox to play much better in this one.