The White Sox are in baseball purgatory with little way out
By Chip Egan
What was your favorite memory of the day the Chicago White Sox were one game over .500 after beating Colorado on Tuesday? That record lasted less than 24 hours as they missed a chance to go two games over the break-even mark for the first time since April when they lost to the Rockies on Wednesday.
That question is tinged with sarcasm as well as a bit of commentary on just how bad things have gone for the White Sox this season.
For a team that just last season posted 93 wins, won a division title, and entered this season as a favorite to win the American League pennant, they couldn’t be more mediocre and a bigger disappointment if they tried.
The White Sox find themselves in baseball’s version of purgatory whereby they are not one of the worst teams in the league nor are they among the best.
Further hurting the situation is the team not being in a position of strength when it comes to being able to make a deal to help the club make a postseason run.
The Chicago White Sox might be making moves ahead of the trade deadline.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, the question is whether or not the White Sox will be buyers or sellers come August 2nd. Regardless of which way they go, a bigger question might be what will become of the team following any moves.
There is a good chance the team may stick with the status quo and either not make a move or do something on a small scale.
The thought that the team is talented enough to win when at full strength is debatable but even when healthy, the team can’t continue to make mental, physical, and managerial errors that have plagued this team all season.
General Manager Rick Hahn has his work cut out for him before the trade deadline. Hahn recently said the bullpen needs improvement going forward and the holes at second base and right field which went mostly unaddressed in the offseason are still a problem.
That’s not good to hear, especially when it was obvious the team needed to address those problems once the lockout at the beginning of the year came to a close.
To still have those problems staring the team in the face does not speak well of how management judges talent and goes about setting the team up for another playoff run this season and for years to come.
One article on MLB.com stated Gavin Sheets might be an attractive trade piece due to the number of outfielders on the roster and his years of team control.
Moving Minor Leaguers might be tough since the system is not rated very highly and the team seems content to keep players such as Colson Montgomery, Oscar Colas, Yolequi Cespedes, or Norge Vera.
As a result of the team being average, the White Sox have to thank their lucky stars that they reside in the AL Central where they are just three games out of first.
Winning the division seems the likeliest way for the White Sox to get into the playoffs as they are three and a half games back in the wild-card hunt with a number of teams ahead of them.
The White Sox have been baseball’s biggest underachievers so far and unless a major change in the on-field performance happens quickly, they could find themselves on the outside looking in when the playoffs start.
They can’t hope for Minnesota and Cleveland to go into tailspins and then backdoor their way into taking the division.
Team management has to be smart in addressing the problems that hinder this club. However, since the team didn’t fill the obvious voids facing them to start the season and has little in the way of trade capital right now, the White Sox could find themselves stuck in neutral for the foreseeable future.