White Sox: Lucas Giolito has been dominant over his last five starts
By the end of 2018, there was a clear standout for the potential ace of the young squad. Lucas Giolito was figuring things out and was on a trajectory to only get better.
The White Sox named the 6'6" starter their ace. Fans stuck with their ace through the lowest of lows, the worst ERA in baseball, and through the highest of the highs, the no-hitter in 2020.
Then 2022 happened. Most, if not all, of the team, took a step back developmentally. There were some strong performances from the rotation but as of late, the only sure thing is Dylan Cease. Or rather, it was since the once-believed ace in Giolito is starting to find his rhythm again.
A strong outing in Houston gave fans hope that he'll return to Cy Young form. He went five strong allowing just two runs on five hits striking out six, walking just one. But those hopes quickly unraveled after his second start of the season which is the Pittsburgh Pirates game.
The Chicago White Sox are happy to have Lucas Giolito going strong.
In 2020, Giolito shut down the Pirates and no-hit them. Three years later, he allowed seven runs on 12 hits and didn't make it past the 4th inning. He struck out three but gave up two home runs, a solo, and a 3-run shot. After two starts, Giolito had thrown nine innings and given up nine earned runs.
His inflated 9.00 ERA didn't bode well with the .413 on-base percentage opponents had. Worth noting, however, is his 9:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Giolito struggled like his teammates in the rotation but he wasn't walking batters.
Number 27 has had five starts since that dreaded April day in Pittsburg. In each start, he's struck out at least five and walked no more than three batters.
Giolito pitched 32.2 innings, striking out 32, walking eight, and recording an ERA of 2.20. Currently, his ERA sits at a White Sox team-best 3.67. Dylan Cease is undoubtedly the team's ace but Giolito is returning to his dominant form.
As a part of the original core meant to be winning right now, the decision to resign Giolito symbolically represents which path the White Sox chooses. What it means also depends on the type of season he has. Like this five-game stretch, a healthy, solid, dominant season earns him a hefty contract.
Whether or not the White Sox offers one is a different question and determines if the Sox can pay up or be willing to part ways. Giolito's probably not pitching for a contender next season if this is his peak. So hey, maybe he does come back.
When Giolito is not in his zone, it's evident by his body language on the mound. He's visibly frustrated and looks uncomfortable. When he is in the zone though, it's scary.
The rocking back and forth on the rubber peering over his glove and staring at the batter like a beast stalking its prey will terrify anyone. Lately, Giolito has been in that beast-like state and his channeling it could be the key to turning this team around.