The Chicago White Sox season finally arrived on Thursday as they traveled to Minute Maid Park to square off with the Houston Astros. It was a four-game series and all four games were nailbiters for both ballclubs. It ended up resulting in a split.
The Chicago White Sox played competitive baseball in the hardest ballpark to win at. It also came against the reigning world champions meaning a series split to open up the season is a positive thing for this club.
In case you missed out on the action, there are three things to take away from the White Sox opening series.
The Chicago White Sox can be happy with how the first series went.
1. The starting rotation was brilliant in all four games
Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, and Mike Clevinger shut down an explosive and dangerous Astros lineup for most of their innings pitched.
It gave the White Sox an opportunity to win all four baseball games in Houston. Although they are only going home with two, it was precisely what the White Sox starting rotation will need to accomplish throughout all of 2023.
This White Sox starting rotation has an abundance of talent. When they are all on as a whole, they are a playoff-caliber rotation from one to five.
Michael Kopech has yet to get his chance to debut in 2023 but he will for the home opener with the San Francisco Giants on Monday afternoon.
Hopefully for the White Sox, he continues what his other four teammates in the rotation have. The starting pitching staff is already building momentum and they are only four games into the 162-game season.
2. Yoan Moncada is as hot as any hitter in the league right now
Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada has been on some kind of tear. In 18 at-bats, the Cuban native is batting .444 with two home runs and four runs batted in. On top of that, he also has a 1.418 OPS.
Yoan Moncada performed very well during the World Baseball Classic and all of that momentum has correlated in a White Sox uniform thus far. The White Sox need Moncada to have a big year.
If he continues to do what he did in Houston, he will put up career-year numbers for a team that will be significantly better with the best version of himself consistently. Moncada has seen success for whole seasons multiple times so there's no excuse as to why he can't do it again in 2023.
3. The White Sox are playing baseball the way Pedro Grifol likes
Pedro Grifol has brought a new vibe/culture of baseball to the White Sox in 2023. The skipper believes that his brand of baseball was played from the roster in Houston.
Grifol knew the circumstances coming into the series. For what they managed to accomplish, he was satisfied, knowing there's more to work on as the season progresses.
The White Sox as a whole are committed to playing baseball for their manager. Through four games, it has been a much more entertaining display on the field than 2022 was.
The club had eighteen extra-base hits, thirteen doubles, and five home runs in their season's first series.
Pedro Grifol and the coaching staff he brought aboard with him are creating a competitive baseball environment for the south side of Chicago. The players are mentally and physically prepared to play efficient baseball day in and day out.
Overall, the first series of the 2023 White Sox season had a lot of great things but some things need to be worked on if they want to accomplish their goals of winning an AL Central division title.
If you're a White Sox fan, you should feel a lot more confident about the White Sox in 2023 than you did 80 games into 2022.