Mere hours before the Chicago White Sox were set to take on the Washington Nationals for the third game of a three-game series, the White Sox where notified they would be without star second baseman Gordon Beckham, who was hitting .316 when we went down, for six weeks.
The White Sox will be able to make a roster move before they play Friday against the Cleveland Indians, and possible promotions to the roster include Brent Morel, who started at third base last season, or Triple-A shortstop Steve Tolleson, who previously spent time with the Baltimore Orioles.
This was as important as a series in April can be, as both teams as they looked to establish some sort of momentum and rhythm. Unfortunately, the White Sox were swept decisively by one of the elite teams in MLB.
From here, the White Sox will need to solidify the pitching rotation more than ever with Beckham out of the lineup. Conor Gillaspie will be shifted into a more prominent role, but it would be hard-pressed to believe both Gillaspie and Alex Rios can keep up their respective starts.
On the offensive side, the Sox showed they can be effective, but continue to rely on the long-ball far too much. The White Sox were 3-13 with RISP on Thursday night, and despite being 12th in slugging percentage, they are 19th in total runs.
Paul Konerko has never been one to get off to hot starts, but he is hitting only .200 to start the year, and the fear is that despite only progressing as a hitter his entire career, the veteran will hit the wall and not provide the bat the White Sox so desperately need in the middle of their lineup.
From a pitching standpoint, the White Sox simply need to find some stability and momentum. Gavin Floyd is the pitcher to improve, and his performance in his next few starts could have a major impact on how the White Sox will fare this season.
With the return of John Danks looming, Floyd needs to improve and be ready step up, as it may take a while to get Danks acclimated into the rotation. Floyd is currently 0-2 with a 5.56 E.R.A, and needs to find some control as the White Sox look to solidify their rotation.
The next few games on the road will certainly be crucial, as the White Sox and manager Robin Ventura need to revert back to a smaller style of baseball, making the most of every base-runner, and optimizing every pitch as they look to rebound from this sweep that the Nationals handed them.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486