White Sox sweep of Tampa provides fans Rays of hope

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In an otherwise dismal season, the White Sox sweep of the Rays provided Sox fans with a little respite and possibly a look into the future.  The Sox three game sweep, coupled with their win over the Royals last Thursday meant a four game winning streak altogether.   There have been some constants in the streak.

For starters…

Sox young starters, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Carlos Rodon were all excellent.  Sunday’s starter, James Shields wasn’t particularly sharp, but battled through six innings while allowing four runs.  Not great, but good enough to keep the Sox in the game.  Shields actually left with a 5-4 lead, but once again the bullpen failed to hold it.  Still, the Sox ultimately prevailed 8-7.

The Sox can generally count on a decent outing from their starters, with the exception of Dylan Covey as of late.  They also have Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech looming as potential starters.  The Sox rotation could soon be one of the best in baseball.

Bad news and good news

As for the bullpen, things are not so rosy. Hector Santiago picked up the win in Sunday’s game, and the save in Friday night’s 2-1 win but more help is needed.  Thyago Vieira picked up his first career save in Saturday’s 2-1 win.  His fastball gets into the high 90s and he will be interesting to watch going forward.

While the Sox may be bullpen challenged, at least the pen is starting to take shape, even if the shape is not particularly good.  The nice thing about having trouble in the bullpen is relievers are fairly fungible.  The Sox could address this area in the offseason fairly easily.

Another Palka party

Dan Palka has been another find in this death march of a season.  His two-run homer provided the margin of victory in Sunday’s 8-7 Sox win.  The homer was Palka’s 17th of the season.  He’s a genuine weapon as a left-handed power threat.

How do you solve a problem like Garcia

Avisail Garcia added two solo homers in Sunday’s win.  The problem with him, as well with Leury Garcia is staying healthy.  When both Garcias are in the Sox lineup, they’re a much better team.  Of course, when Eloy Jimenez joins the team, they’ll be far better still.

And up the middle…

Last season Tim Anderson led the AL in errors with 28.  So far this season, he sits at 14.  And he seems to be getting more consistent.  If Anderson is more consistent defensively, that’s huge for the Sox going forward.

As aggressive as the Cubs Javy Baez is, Yoan Moncada is that passive.  I’d like to see Moncada ramp up his aggressiveness a couple of notches.  Does he know he’s allowed to swing the bat with two strikes?  The talent is obviously there, the question is can it be coaxed out?  I’d have to say this is a disappointing year for Moncada.

Location, location, location

One of the biggest things the Sox have going for them is playing in the AL Central.  As miserable as things have been this season, their future easily looks brighter than that of the Royals, Tigers and Twins.  I can even see them passing the Indians soon.  Based on their resources, they like Kramer of Seinfeld should dominate their dojo.  It’s a really weak dojo.

 

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