One of the main reasons the Chicago White Sox were able to stun most people and win 85 games in 2012 was because of their ability to do the little things right.
With a very similar roster this season, the White Sox were going to need to once again do the little things right in order to compete in the AL Central. Unfortunately for the Sox and their fans, Chicago has done just about everything wrong so far in 2013, making their 12-17 record very indicative of how they’ve played.
Other than a few bright spots on their pitching staff, the South Siders have been hard to watch for most of 2013. Their offensive struggles — last in the MLB in OBP — have obviously been extremely frustrating; however, their poor defense is what’s shocked me most.
Last year, the Sox led all of baseball in fielding percentage, which is why their well-below-average defense this season is somewhat head-scratching. Chicago is near the bottom in the league in defense, and it’s a major reason they find themselves in last place in the AL Central.
Sunday afternoon’s 6-5 loss to the Kansas City Royals featured more of the same lackluster defense. Jeff Keppinger’s error in the bottom of the fifth led to two unearned runs and ended up being the difference in the ballgame.
When a team is going through a funk like the Sox are right now, things usually seem a lot worse than they actually are. Yes, there’s no doubt the Sox will not make the playoffs if they don’t start doing the little things better. However, the important thing to note is that the Sox have the talent and the type of players who can easily turn things around.
Losing is never fun, and it certainly hasn’t been for the Sox so far in 2013. But as long as the Pale Hose can begin to play more fundamentally sound baseball, I still see them as a playoff contender down the road.