Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Reasons For Optimism Despite White Sox 0-2 Start

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The White Sox have started the season 0-2, losing a pair of one-run games. It is not surprising that the negativity has already begun amongst the fanbase. Fan morale was already at its lowest point in years before the season even started, and losing the first two games will not brighten anyone’s spirits. However, what we have seen over the season’s first two games is not all bad. Several positive developments have taken place in just two games.

White Sox All-Star Outfielder Smoking Hot

Luis Robert Jr. had a massive game on Saturday, tallying three hits, two of which were home runs. His homers traveled 449 and 417 feet, respectively, so they were not cheapies either. He also drove in four runs. Robert mentioned after the game that he worked on new pitch selection drills this offseason, and it already seems to be paying dividends. Barring something unexpected, he should be the White Sox representative at the All-Star Game and maybe even receive MVP votes for a team that will likely lose close to 100 games. That is how good he is.

Under The Radar Shortstop

Braden Shewmake was a throw-in as part of the Aaron Bummer trade this past offseason. A former first-round pick by the Braves in 2019, he got little chance to prove himself in Atlanta. That is not the case in Chicago. Shewmake has already started making the most of the opportunity on the south side, as he had two hits in Saturday’s game, including his first career homer. He also played a clean defensive game at shortstop and helped create a run with a high IQ play on the bases. Paul DeJong opened the season as the starter at shortstop, but Shewmake could see increased playing time if he keeps performing like he did on Saturday. 

Strong MLB Debut

While he allowed a hit and a walk, Jordan Leasure threw a scoreless inning in his first MLB appearance. He also notched his first career MLB strikeout in the inning. While Leasure’s future is likely as a setup man or even a closer, he pitched in the sixth inning yesterday. The White Sox seem to want to ease him into the majors, but he will likely get increasingly high-leverage opportunities in the later innings as the season progresses.

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Veteran Relievers Doing Their Thing

Steven Wilson threw a scoreless inning on Saturday. He had a nice run of success as a reliever in San Diego before getting traded as part of the haul for Dylan Cease, and hopefully, that will continue in Chicago. If he performs well in the first half, he will likely get dealt at the deadline.

John Brebbia missed most of the spring because of a right calf strain but pitched a clean inning on Saturday. It took him only five pitches to retire the side. He is in a similar situation to Wilson. If he pitches well in the first half, he will likely go to a contending team at the trade deadline.

Fundamentally Sound White Sox Baseball

Chris Getz made it very well known that improving the defense was a key point of emphasis this season. He even mentioned that pitchers in the past did not sign with the White Sox because of how poor the team was defensively. But the team has yet to commit an error through two games this season. It is a small sample size but an encouraging development for a team that was atrocious defensively last season. 

Final Wrap Up

The White Sox will not be good this year. That is obvious. Rome was not built in a day, and 2024 is a hard reboot season for the team at the MLB level. However, some positive developments and small victories are still happening in these games. Every positive development is a small baby step in the right direction. 

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