Much has been made about the talent that the Chicago White Sox have on their roster. That talent has yet to come out in a way that reinforces the team’s preseason standing as a World Series contender.
The White Sox were viewed as a team that could win the American League Central title again, but they were also viewed as a team that could take the next step and makes a serious run at a World Series title.
The talent was there and although teams in the American League Central improved their rosters, the White Sox were still considered heavy favorites to take the crown.
The problem is the team has looked nothing like the one many thought it should be. As the season inches closer to the All-Star break the White Sox find themselves in the all too familiar position of chasing Minnesota and Cleveland.
Despite having won 93 games last year and easily winning the division, the White Sox have since looked more like the team that was trounced in the playoffs by the Houston Astros than the one that can compete and overtake the likes of the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and Minnesota Twins.
Minnesota has been a thorn in the White Sox’s side for years and, with the exception of last season, is proving to be their kryptonite once again. The opening game drubbing the White Sox handed to the Twins on Thursday marked just the team’s second win in seven games to date.
If one was to compare rosters of the White Sox, Twins, and Cleveland, based on perceived talent, chances are the White Sox would be seen as carrying the strongest starting nine if not the best total roster between the three.
However, when looking at the standings, one would have to wonder if the White Sox are so talented, what is keeping them from dominating the division the way it did in 2021?
The Chicago White Sox need to use their talent to their advantage going forward.
The word talent is a word that certainly applies to not only the White Sox players but anyone who has to ability to play at the Major League level.
But the White Sox’s athletic talent entering the 2022 campaign was supposed to be superior to that of its division rivals and possibly the rest of the American League.
The numbers on defense tell a different story though as the White Sox are third worst in the majors in errors, second to last in fielding percentage, and third to last in assists.
Offensively, things aren’t much better as they are 19th in on-base percentage, tied for 21st in slugging, 17th in RBI, and tied for 24th in home runs (11th in the AL).
There is also the mental part of talent. You need to want to use it the right way. That may be the biggest thing that separates the White Sox from those who are always in the hunt for playoff spots.
The mental gaffes the team makes, be it on the base paths, in the field, or on the managerial side are ones that really good teams keep to a minimum. For the White Sox, these seem to be almost everyday type occurrences.
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks thinks it’s just a matter of putting a run of wins together that will get things turned around.
"“People are trying to find chinks in the armor,” Hendriks said. “They’re trying to understand why we haven’t been doing what we’re supposed to be doing this year. I don’t think it’s anything tangible; we just haven’t been able to fire. We’ve had the spark but haven’t been able to turn the flame into an inferno.That was something we did last year. But we can catch fire at any point and be one of the most dangerous teams in this league. I have no doubt about that.”"
The problem is the team is not good enough to turn it on and off when they want to. Posting a record around .500, not just this season but since the All-Star break, last year indicates this team is not only flawed but perhaps not as talented as they were made out to be.
Last year’s playoff loss to Houston showed the gap in talent the White Sox needed to make up if they wanted to compete with baseball’s elite. Unfortunately, that gap seems to have widened and not closed as hoped.
This is not to say the White Sox don’t have talent or are not talented enough to get back to playing baseball in October. They do have talent, it’s just a matter of that talent showing up and reaching the potential people believe it has.