The Chicago White Sox are continually morphing from a lowly underachieving team with a disastrously poor offense and a bloated payroll to a literal laughing stock, especially after dropping their fourth straight game, their third straight to the lowly Houston Astros.
So, where exactly do the White Sox go from here, regarding both 2013 and the future? New General manager Rick Hahn needs to certainly usher in a new style compared to the man he replaced, Kenny Williams.
For Williams, it always seemed to be too little too late and for every move that worked, he had one that failed. Hahn will not have that leverage. Despite being abysmal in nearly every statistical category, the White Sox are only 8.5 games back, albeit last in the division.
Yet, the Sox have lost 12 of their last 13 road games, a stretch that has absolutely leveled the team from a bad .500 club to seemingly destitute. It all started as a result of the offense that has never woken up, and has spread like a plague throughout the lineup.
Paul Konerko has struggled as he ages and is featured more at designated hitter. Unfortunately, it seems this is the year where it has all caught up to him. Adam Dunn continues to disappoint under a massive contract, despite showing streaks of power.
Not only has the power which the White Sox rely on vanished, but all elements of clutch hitting have vanished as well, especially from Cuban hitters Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo. Also despondent is Gordon Beckham. With all these players struggling immensely, massive lineup changes are possibly in order.
For starters, the team should move Beckham up. Alejandro De Aza is knocking the stuffing out of the ball, so the streaky Beckham would certainly fit in well behind the hot De Aza second. While Dunn has been shifted back as low as sixth in the lineup, he should remain the designated hitter.
Konerko is an absolute anchor, and his despite him struggling, he is still capable defensively, boasting a .996 fielding percentage at first base. More at-bats and a consistent routine can only help the veteran, who would ideally hit fourth.
With Dunn and Viciedo rounding out at no. 5 and 6, the mysterious Conor Gillaspie can hopefully wake back up and show the hitting prowess he did earlier this season. Tyler Flowers is obviously not a great hitter, but if manager Robin Ventura wants to not hit a catcher ninth for the sake of speed, Ramirez could easily replace Beckham at the tail end.
The MLB season is not even half way over, so talks of a fire sale or massive shifts to Triple-A Charlotte are irrational. But shakeups within the batting order, and creating some form of team stability through offense can certainly turn this team around.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486