The White Sox clearly dropped the ball this year. However, they can turn it around next year with the core they have. Here’s how.
2022 was quite a disappointment for the Sox. After many had high hopes for this team with the high level starting pitching they have, the White Sox have gone 4-9 in their last 12 games, and have fallen out of playoff contention. Here’s what went wrong and how they can fix it to become contenders next year.
First off, it all starts with management. Now that Tony LaRussa is gone, the White Sox need to find a new managerial leader. They can go with someone like Don Mattingly who is now available and had a solid few years managing the Dodgers. They can also go with Joe Espada, bench coach for the Astros, who has a great understanding of how the game has evolved and has already interviewed for head coaching positions for the Rangers and Cubs.
Next up, adding another big bat to the lineup would give this team the spark they need. The White Sox have a lot of young talent in the likes of Tim Anderson, Eloy Jiménez, and Yoan Moncada. They are one big piece away from becoming a contender come playoff time in 2023. I think cutting ties with A.J Pollock is the right move, as he’s vastly underperformed this year. They should make an effort to sign Aaron Judge, or Michael Brantley this offseason. They can even go with another big name on this list if any of these guys opt out of their contracts. A high level bat will push them to the next level.
One portion of the team that needs to be fixed is the bullpen. The Sox relievers have combined for a 4.09 ERA thus far, which is 11th worst in baseball. I know they went out and got Joe Kelly at the deadline, but he hasn’t looked like his old self, pitching to a putrid 6.23 ERA during his tenure so far with the White Sox. Adding another solid arm or two and having that bullpen depth will take this team a long way.
As far as starting pitching is concerned, the White Sox do have a lot to look forward to. Dylan Cease has looked fantastic this year, pitching to a 2.06 ERA which is the second best in baseball among all starters. Michael Kopech has looked solid this year, as well as Johnny Cueto, who was a nice acquisition earlier in the year. Lance Lynn has always been a reliable arm in the rotation. Lucas Giolito is having a down year pitching to a 5.05 ERA, but if he can get back on track and be close to the pitcher he’s been the last couple years, this White Sox rotation can be a force to reckon with heading into next year.
We can all agree the collapse of the White Sox so far this year hasn’t been the prettiest site to watch. With that being said, the team does have a great foundation and with the right additions, this team can come back better than ever next year, and have a shot at competing for a title.
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