Offense has been the saving grace for the Chicago White Sox early on
By Chip Egan
Although the record currently indicates the Chicago White Sox are trending toward being a .500 club once again, the offense has been performing at a level worthy of a team better than that.
While the pitching has been the Achilles heel of the team to this point, the same can't be said for the offense.
Following Monday's 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins, the offense added eight hits to retake the Major League lead in that category with 113 through the first 11 games.
Banking on the team averaging over 10 hits per game throughout the season might be a lofty goal but a hot start with the bats is an encouraging sign.
The Chicago White Sox offense has been a positive for this team so far.
Not only does the team lead the majors in hits but the White Sox are fourth overall and second in the American League in batting average at .282. The Toronto Blue Jays are on top of both lists with a .288 mark.
A hot start by the likes of Luis Robert Jr., Yoan Moncada, Oscar Colas, and Yasmani Grandal has contributed to the team's high batting average, with each hitting .300 or better. Tim Anderson, who can be counted on to put up a solid batting average each year, has posted a .298 average.
Robert Jr. has been especially solid in the early going. His four homers lead the team as do his 10 runs batted in. His slash line of .333/.333/.667 is very impressive as is his 1.000 on-base plus slugging percentage.
When the team makes contact good things have happened, as evidenced by the White Sox being third in the majors with a .338 batting average of balls in play.
Patience may be a virtue but after White Sox batters recorded the second-fewest walks in baseball last season, the team hasn't shaken their desire to swing the bat when they get to the plate, recording only 27 walks, good enough for fifth worst thus far.
However, their desire to swing the bat has not resulted in alarming strikeout rates. After finishing with the seventh-fewest strikeouts in 2022, the White Sox are currently 16th overall this season with 89.
The team's 28 doubles top the Major Leagues. Yet, much like last season, the power numbers are still lagging.
The White Sox have hit 11 home runs which ties them for 14th with the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals. The Southsiders are averaging one home run per every 36.46 at-bats which is slightly better than their one long ball per 37.66 at-bats last year.
Still, the club is putting up just over five runs a game to this point which is fifth-best in the AL and sixth overall.
Averaging five runs a game will put a team in a very good position to win a decent number of games. But, when a team's pitching staff is giving up over 6 runs a game, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the problem is for a struggling team.
Dylan Cease has picked up where he left off from last season when he was second in the AL Cy Young voting. However, the rest of the rotation and the bullpen have underperformed to this point.
Thus, a lot of pressure has been put on the offense to produce which it has been doing so far.
It's still very early and things could change for the better or worse for every team. But, if the White Sox can continue to hit and the pitching comes around, the team could make amends for their disappointing season of a year ago and get back to the postseason.