The Chicago White Sox lost their fifth consecutive game Wednesday dropping the matinee to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-1. The team is off to a 3-8 start and were outscored in their series against the Rays 24-7. Despite the poor start and inadequate performance by the starting rotation, there are still promising signs of a better season in 2019.
Heading into the start of the 2019 season, starting pitching was expected to perform better than it had in 2018. Young starters Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez who struggled at times last season were expected be more matured with a full season of MLB experience underneath them.
Outside of Giolito’s first start this season, both haven’t looked good in their three combined starts. Both pitchers have failed pitched six innings in those starts.
The starting rotation has been unreliable from the start of games as they have allowed first-inning runs in six of their last seven outings. The poor performances have hurt the bullpen as the White Sox have not had a starter pitch six-innings since Carlos Rodon’s start last Wednesday in Cleveland.
Veteran pitchers Ivan Nova and Ervin Santana have combined for a total of six innings in their last two starts.
Chicago’s struggling starting pitching has negatively overshadowed some of the positive starts by some of their younger position players. Shortstop Tim Anderson is off to a great start as he is leading MLB in batting average hitting .513 through his first nine games. Anderson has six multi-hit games in his last seven starts and is four for four in stolen base attempts.
Another young player who is apart of the future core for the team is third-baseman Yoan Moncada. Moncada’s batting average has dipped since last week, but he continues to be run-producer for the team. He leads the White Sox in RBIs with 13 and runs with 12. More impressive is Moncada’s .617 slugging percentage as he has five doubles and three home runs through the first 11 games. Two of the doubles were mere inches away from being home runs.
The team’s most important prospect in Eloy Jimenez has failed to excite in the first 11 games but has steadily shown signs of progression. Although batting under.300, he has collected five multi-hit games. Opposing pitchers have been throwing him off-speed pitches low and away which has posed a problem for him.
In his last several games, Eloy has shown adjustments by driving the ball in their air where early on he was hitting the ball on the ground. Wednesday, he collected his first extra-base hit which was a line shot double down the left-field line. With a few more at-bats, Jimenez could start hitting the way he did in the minors last season.
It is hard to find excitement for a team that is on a five-game losing streak coming off a 100 loss season from the year before. Although not pretty now, the White Sox do have some hope in their young position players. If the starting pitching can turn it around as they should, the White Sox can turn their fortunes around sooner rather than later with the potentially potent lineup they have developing.