By: Mark Lester
After 6 months of waiting for baseball to come back, the first month of the 2019 season seemed to pass by pretty quickly for me. For you Red Sox fans, I’d guess it’s felt like an eternity, since it’s normally the other Sox that are stuck below .500. Now we’re both in the same boat, the main difference being is that the Southsiders are performing ABOVE expectations, which, granted isn’t saying much.
The White Sox as of April 30th, the White Sox are 12-14 with a matching Pythagorean W-L of 12-14, good for 4th in the American League Central, 5 games behind the 17-10 Indians. They’re ahead of only the unsurprisingly terrible Royals, who are sitting at an abysmal 9-20.
The most notable thing about the White Sox is their pitching staff, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. To put it delicately, the pitching, and defense in general, has been terrible. Despite the supposed offseason improvement on the mound with the additions of Alex Colome and Ivan Nova, opposing teams have scored an average of 5.34 runs a game, the 4th most in baseball.
At the plate, the White Sox haven’t been much more threatening than the pitching corps. But the superhuman production of Tim Anderson is by far the best story on the team, as he’s had an inexplicably hot start to the year. So far, he’s slashing .375/.394/.615 along with 10 steals - the most in baseball. Although it’s only a matter of time before Anderson comes back down to the human level, he certainly hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down all through April. He’s now officially the AL Player of the Month and undeniably the White Sox best player.
Sure, the White Sox rank 20th in baseball in runs scored right now. But that really doesn’t tell us a lot about the potential for this offensive unit. Players like James McCann (C), Jose Abreu (1B), and Leury Garcia (CF) are popping out of their season-starting slumps and looking pretty productive, while it’s only a matter of time before Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada come back down to Earth.
The only thing we know for certain about the 2019 Sox is that the starting pitching is atrocious, something the semi-decent bullpen can’t really compensate for. The offense, while there are a lot of question marks, has the potential to carry this team to near-.500 status. So far, that’s been the story for the White Sox, who are currently on pace for 75 wins - 4 more than I initially projected.
The White Sox are right around the trajectory they were expected to be on, so despite the pitching woes, they’re worthy of an average grade: bonus points for the bat flips.
OVERALL GRADE: C+