It’s been a while since there was much of a reason to get excited about the White Sox, but here we are in June and they are tied for second place in the AL Central and 2 games back in the wild card chase. It is all relative of course. The White Sox are still below .500 and I know we can’t call a division this early, but they are 11.5 games behind the Twins. For some perspective on June 5 of last year they were 11.5 games out of first as well, but in 5th place. I hate to say the move up in the division standings has more to do with the poor play of their rivals than the White Sox rising up, at least in part. I mean, last year they stood at 18-39 as opposed to 29-30, so they have definitely improved.
The cool thing is they are getting contributions from some of the young core that we’ve been hearing so much about. Tim Anderson is not only providing the “eternal beef” (which sounds like a Taco Bell promotion) he is providing speed and power to the lineup. Yoan Moncada may be making us finally forget about Joe Crede at third base and Lucas Giolito is a much needed stud in the starting rotation. And even though Jose Abreu and James McCann might not be around for THE YEAR, they are playing very well.
What should this mean to us fans? Not much, in the grand scheme of things. A playoff push to the second wild card would make for a fun summer, but that isn’t the prize we’ve been told was waiting. The rebuild is about becoming a consistent contender, not a one season wonder, only to be forgotten for another 11 years. So even if the White Sox were to make the 2019 postseason, it should only whet our appetites, not satiate them.
The team will probably fade in the coming weeks, Giolito is great, but the rest of the rotation is below average to just plain bad. Alex Colome is pitching well enough to get traded and that might be the best thing because there is very little building the bridge from starter to closer. The outfield is a patchwork of potential and replacement players. I love Charlie Tilson, local boy done good and all of that, but he’s in the company of Delmonico, Engel and Palka.
Finally, as much fun as this year has been, it shouldn’t hide the failings of Rick Hahn this past off-season. Putting aside the failed attempt to land Manny Machado, most of Hahn’s moves (Colome and McCann being the notable acceptions) have flopped. The Machado fluffers, Alanso and Jay, have either not played or been ineffectual. Ivan Nova is at least still with the team. The same can’t be said of Ervin Santana. No, what has been happening on the south side has been in spite of, not because of Hahn and company. So go to the G Rate, enjoy the games, but don’t forget about the promise of tomorrow.