It’s Opening Day 2019 and Major League Baseball wants us to be excited. Here in the wilds of Chicago’s “other” team, there isn’t much to get excited about. Yes, the new phenom, Eloy Jimenez, is starting the year with the big league club, but he was going to get here eventually. It’s kind of like buying a Christmas gift in October. By the time December rolls around, that gift is kind of old news.
No, the White Sox are pretty much returning the same players from last year, selling the idea that, “hey, it’s really hard to lose 100 games back to back, especially when you play the Royals and Tigers for almost a quarter of your games.” Which kind of makes the underwhelming off season even more frustrating. The Indians did little to improve themselves (why should they?) the Twins probably did the most in the off season to improve (that is a very low bar) and the aforementioned Royals and Tigers are pretty much folding before the first bets are placed. The White Sox, with very little effort could have made, at least on paper, a push for contention.
Forget Machado and the complete ineptitude of the front office in that episode. As it stands right now, Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Kuechel are still sitting by the phone. Two areas that the White Sox could use some help. They are open about the fact that they will try the “bullpen by committee” even if they don’t call it that. And they have Ivan and Ervin battling for the fifth spot in the rotation. How much could Kimbrel and Kuechel have cost compared to the money they didn’t spend on Machado? How about now? Swoop in for a one year deal for both?
While the organ grinders from the Chicago media help the White Sox in their sale of improvement by default, there is little to be truly excited about. This is pretty much the same 2018 lineup that struck out over 1500 times, over 25% of the team’s plate appearances. The 2018 team hit a platry 182 home runs and only got on base at a .302 clip. The other side of the ball, pitching wasn’t much better. The staff gave up more walks than anyone in the league, had a 1.43 WHIP and gave up almost 200 home runs. The slogan for the year should be “It Can Only Get Better…Maybe?” or “Seventy Wins Never Looked So Good!” or “Die Trying? We’re Already Rich!”