Those reading this may be wondering why there hasn’t been more Spring Training coverage before now. To be perfectly honest, I was waiting for the White Sox to win more than one game so I’d at least have some positives to write about.
The Sox stand at a 2-6 record after Sunday’s 2-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Just looking at the numbers, it is the Sox pitching that appears to struggling. Potential opening day pitcher John Danks highlighted Sunday’s loss by throwing four walks in three innings. For those keeping track of Danks through this last week, that makes seven walks in five innings overall.
Furthermore, newly converted starter Chris Sale did not fare so well in his first Spring Training start. The 22 year-old let up three runs in three innings, including a home run.
Despite looking very lackluster this past week, the news isn’t all bad. Even though the pitching could stand to improve, the run production is certainly enough to win games. No game saw the White Sox batting lineup get shut out. Unfortunately, even though the Sox scored six runs in three of their games, they could only win one of them due to defense issues.
Another positive point of note is the performance of utility player Brent Lillibridge. The versatile player is coming off a very successful 2011 season and manager Robin Ventura has been very open about recognizing Lillibridge’s potential to contribute in a variety of ways. His diverse talents could back up a struggling Beckham or Ramirez in the infield. Lillibridge can also fill in for Alex Rios if he continues to have trouble at the plate (which looks like it could happen considering he is only 1 for 12 so far).
Now I don’t mean to get everyone’s hopes up, but Adam Dunn has 4 RBIs in 11 at-bats, including a home run. It is too early to make any assumptions, but hopefully he continues to see the ball well so he can contribute throughout the season.
Although a starting week of 2-6 is not ideal, what is important to remember is that Spring Training is rarely indicative of how a team will fare in the regular season. Many are on the roster that won’t be there opening day and the players,as well as the rookie manager Ventura, are all getting settled into this new team. Sox fans will remember that in 2005, the team had a very poor pre-season only to hold first place all season and eventually take home a World Series Championship.
Even though it is a lofty and unrealistic goal, hopefully we can see a similar level of success this season.