Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Month In

Of course I don't know how much luck any baseball team is granted over the course of a season; I just hope that the Chicago White Sox don't use up their allotment too soon. As I write, the team is in first place in the Central Division with a 13 - 6 record, one half game ahead of the World Champion Kansas City Royals. The Sox pitching has been superb: Chris Sale (30 innings pitched; 26 strikeouts; 3 walks; .667 WHIP) and Jose Quintana (24 innings; 22 Ks; 1.095 WHIP) are producing as expected. New starter Matt Latos (.74 ERA; .822 WHIP) has also been terrific, and I still feel good about the team's relievers. The Sox have been winning because of that pitching and because of stellar defense, especially via the leather thrown by newcomers Brett Lawrie at second and Todd Frazier at third, each of whom has been a major upgrade at his position for the team. The good news: proven quality starting pitching and defense do not go into slumps, at least extended ones.

The luck? That the Sox are winning given how poorly the team is hitting. Slugging first baseman Jose Abreu is struggling mightily (.597 OPS; .183 BA), as is Frazier (.713; ,205). Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton have been the only consistently producing hitters, and that small wiggle room for error created by underachieving hitters is going to close rapidly. For now the weakly batted balls are going where they need to, but the luck won't last. The Sox need to start hitting.

I believe they will, when the weather warms up for good and the hitters get into their rhythms. Abreu is too good, and too professional, to stay dormant for long, and I like the looks of Frazier's at-bats. If the starting pitching and defense hold up, this will be an interesting and hopefully very fun summer on the South Side and in the Central. I gotta get to the park soon before the good seats get pricey.

Here's hoping the luck lasts until the bats wake up. Jose Abreu by Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

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