The Chicago White Sox were an absolute mess last season — mostly offensively. And after their 99-loss 2013 campaign, big changes needed to be, and were made.
Sox GM Rick Hahn shipped out two promising young pitchers in Addison Reed and Hector Santiago. In return he sought youthful and long-term offensive upgrades. That’s exactly what he got in energetic center fielder Adam Eaton and still developing, yet talented third-basemen Matt Davidson. Eaton’s addition has already improved the club’s offense while Davidson figures to be up contributing with the big league roster in the near future.
Although we’re only 17 games into this season, the White Sox’s offense is clearly better and far more balanced than a year ago. However, and rather alarmingly, the pitching staff is an entirely different story. What was the team’s biggest strength in 2013 has now evolved into a major weakness.
Entering tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers, the Sox’s offense ranked second in runs scored in all of baseball. Consequently, their pitching staff was also responsible for giving up the second most runs in MLB. Quite a contrast and one that certainly figures to make for an up and down, roller-coaster like season. The evidence is already there to prove that.
The Rangers shellacked the Sox tonight in Arlington, as they won by a score of 12-0. Of greater concern, though, was again the ineffectiveness and general incompetency displayed by the pitching staff. Starter Felipe Paulino pitched 3 2-3 innings and allowed 13 hits and 10 runs. All earned. Not good. Paulino signed a one-year deal with an option for 2015 this off-season, yet quite frankly, he’s been terrible. His ERA ran all the way up to 11.29 after tonight’s masterpiece.
Paulino isn’t the only pitcher with issues. In fact, he’s one of many. Outside of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and John Danks, the greater majority of the staff has been poor, especially the bullpen. If you take a hard look at the seven arms in that pen, you’re not going to find a whole lot that you like. Walks have been the norm for this group, as has not being able to get anybody out.
Thankfully, it’s still early and the offense — excluding tonight — has provided reason for optimism. With that said, changes need to be made with this pitching staff or another 99-loss season isn’t out of the question on the South Side of Chicago.
Matthew Sturgeon is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27.