Chicago White Sox: 3 takeaways from their first series win of 2023
The Chicago White Sox took two out of three against the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field. All three games were close affairs and the White Sox stuck with them throughout the vast majority of innings played.
It was the club's first series win of the 2023 season. Hopefully, that momentum carries over with them as they travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds for a three-game stretch.
The White Sox played like a competitive team against a competitive opponent and if there are three things to take away from the series, it's this:
The Chicago White Sox finally won their first series of the season.
1. Tim Anderson is the most important player on the Chicago White Sox.
Although his last game of the series wasn't one to remember, it was evident throughout all three games with the Twins that the Chicago White Sox are at their best when Tim Anderson is on the field.
Since 2020, when Tim Anderson has one hit in a game, they are 124-73. When he gets two hits, they are 72-32. When he has an RBI, they are 62-15. Finally, when he hits a home run, they are 27-3.
Tim Anderson is a pure hitter and his presence at the top of the order benefits the Chicago White Sox as a unit tremendously. Anderson must find a way to stay healthy and let his game do the rest. If he does manage to stay healthy, it gives his club a better chance to get back into the playoff hunt.
2. The bullpen is better without Jake Diekman in it.
The Chicago White Sox made the right move in designating Jake Diekman for assignment. With a -0.6 WAR and a 7.94 ERA, it was only a matter of time before the organization went through with the transaction.
Since Diekman's absence, the bullpen has unsurprisingly gotten better. Multiple guys, such as Kenyan Middleton, Gregory Santos, and Jimmy Lambert, are stepping up in significant ways. Aaron Bummer even stepped up in a big way during this series.
The DFA of Diekman also forces skipper Pedro Grifol to use someone else in critical situations. Diekman was never the answer to any solutions but for some reason, Grifol thought he was. Now, Grifol realizes how to manage this Chicago White Sox bullpen properly.
It paid off during every game in this series. If it weren't for the horrid offensive performance in game three, the bullpen wouldn't have been forced to look as bad as it did. It was a great three days with them. Hopefully, for the team's sake, that continues.
3. Eloy Jimenez can single handedly win a game
Eloy Jimenez has caught fire after a slow start to his 2023 campaign. There aren't too many hitters in all of baseball as hot as he is at the moment.
The White Sox need his bat to be present day in and day out. When Jimenez is on, it gives the club a much more significant chance to produce runs and, most importantly, win baseball games.
The myth of Jimenez only producing at the plate when he plays the field also turns out to be false. He has shown up many times this year that he can produce at the plate even in the designated hitter spot.
If Jimenez can stay healthy throughout the rest of the 2023 season, he can hit numerous amounts of long balls.