Here’s the scoop on the outlook for the White Sox
Sunday afternoon was a cold wet day in the city of Chicago because of reasons other than the weather. Fans began to realize there would be no playoff baseball in Chicago for the first time since 2014. Chicago White Sox fans were hurting a bit more as they haven’t seen the playoffs since 2008.
The Chicago White Sox finished the season going 7-3 in their final 10 games. They finished third in the American League Central with 72-89 record and were 28.5 games back of first place. Their third place finish was the Sox best finish since they finished second in 2012. An improvement, for sure, but 2020 needs to be a major leap away from mediocre baseball.
Several guys on the team did give reasons for White Sox fans to remain hopeful as they head into the offseason. Some notable names were Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Lucas Giolito, Eloy Jimenez, and Yoan Moncada, to name a few.
Abreu’s future with the Sox is up for discussion but he put together a solid season to hopefully extend his time on the Southside of Chicago. Abreu finished with 123 runs batted in. He nearly led the whole major league in RBIs but settled for the most in the American League as Nationals’ Anthony Rendon had three more. He wants to be a part of what is ahead in the Sox future. He said, “For me, there’s no secret. I want to be here.” Tim Anderson did lead Major League Baseball with his .335 batting average. It was a .095 improvement from the year before. He brought so much to the team and built a strong relationship with the Southside community. His role is bigger has become bigger than just playing baseball.
The year of development from guys received in trades were a major key to be able to improve their record by 10 games. Giolito was an actual ace the Sox could count on every fifth day. This is after having the worst earned run average just one season ago. Through 29 starts, Giolito finished the year 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA in 176.2 innings and 228 strikeouts. His 228 strikeouts were the most by a White Sox right-hander since Ed Walsh’s 254 in 1912, via @ckamka on Twitter. He also three complete games and two shutouts.
Jimenez smashed his way through his rookie season. His 31 home runs makes him only the 11th rookie with 30 or more home runs in their rookie year. Jimenez did miss nearly 40 games but hit well in the ones he did play in especially during the second half. September was his best stretch as he went 34 for 100 with 19 runs, eight doubles, a triple, nine home runs, and 25 RBIs in 24 games. A sign of what’s to come in the future? Southsiders hope so.
The other bright spot was 24-year-old Moncada. He told NBC Sports Chicago’s Chuck Garfien that his season was “no fluke.” Moncada also improved at the plate, bumping his average up .080 points from the previous season to .315, which was the third best in the AL. He had career-highs in almost every offensive category which also included striking out less. He finished with splits of .315/.367/.548/.915 and added 83 runs, 161 hits, 34 doubles, five triples, 25 home runs, and 79 RBIs to his resume.
The Sox desperately need pitching and another hitter or two this offseason. Sox fans are doubtful as owner Jerry Reinsdorf has failed to dig deep enough in his pockets to pay the big names in the past. He must be all-in this winter or the White Sox will extend one of the longest postseason droughts in the MLB.
As the offseason approaches, White Sox fan must demand for a better product to force the hand of Reinsdorf to pay up. After a handful of free agent signings and a strong Spring Training, the team should be ready to take their next step and become a playoff contender. This is what Sox fans deserve and the Chicago White Sox organization should be all-in, every step of the way.