The Chicago White Sox Offense Is Offensive
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By Brian Madsen (White Sox Correspondent): Follow @brianm731
It must be AJ Pierzynski’s fault. After all, his absence from the White Sox lineup is the only major change from the 2012 team’s lineup. His replacement, Tyler Flowers, hasn’t exactly been lighting the lamp in 2013. Flowers was also billed to be an upgrade defensively behind the plate, which hasn’t been the case either.
Or, wait, is it Kevin Youkilis‘ fault? His replacement, Jeff Keppinger, has been the opposite of what he was advertised to be when the Sox signed him during the offseason. Keppinger’s hitting .229 with an OBP of .234. He was also billed as “a guy who never strikes out”, and should be the perfect number 2 hitter behind Alejandro De Aza. He’s struck out 21 times in 205 AB’s, and he’s walked TWICE.
Adam Dunn hit yet another HR last evening to raise hit total for 18 Round trippers and 40 RBI, despite a .182 Batting Average. While that is close to his White Sox career BA of .184 in 2 plus years, Dunn is hitting .277 for the month of June, with 6 HRs and 12 RBI. He may duplicate his 41 HR and 96 RBI of last campaign. The question is whether or not he will make it to a .200 BA?
Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn aside, Whatever the reason is, or whoever’s fault it is, the White Sox offense has been abysmal so far in the 2013 season. Statistically one of the worst offenses in MLB, the White Sox offense is difficult to watch. But, the offense certainly hasn’t been the only problem. What was a strong defensive team in 2012, has turned into a bad defensive team in 2013.
Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Astros is a perfect example of the White Sox struggles in 2013. Chris Sale had another stellar performance, striking out 14, but takes the loss. The Sox managed just one run off of Erik Bedard (yes, Erik Bedard), and also committed two more errors defensively in the field, leading to one of Houston’s runs.
Often, a sign of a good team, is their record during one run ball games. The Sox, as of now, are 9-13 in one run games. This stat can also be a good indicator of the quality of a team’s pitching. The Sox pitching, both starting and relief, has been very good in 2013. But often, when a team’s pitching is successful, and the bats are not, 2-1 losses can be commonplace, as was the case last night.
Sox fans would probably never have imagined they would yearn for the return of Gordon Beckham to the Sox lineup. But, at least quietly, that has been the case in 2013. Beckham broke his hand in April, and recently returned to the lineup in June. Beckham’s offensive struggles in his young career have been well documented.
But, he started off well in 2013, (and he’s always been solid defensively), broke his hand, and has picked up right where he left off before he got hurt. But, he’s certainly not going to be the savior.
The Sox offense has been successful in years passed primarily due to the HR. In 2012, when the Sox homered, they won (and they hit A LOT of HRs). So far this season, they’re in the bottom third of the league in HR’s, not something this team is used to.
For those that don’t watch this team on a regular basis like I do, the reason for the Sox struggles is simple.
(1.) Offense – High strike out totals, yet low HR totals. Lack of situational hitting. Get em on (sometimes a struggle to begin with), get em over (not a good bunting team, or unable to hit the ball to the right side of the infield), and get em in (always a problem).
(2.) Defense (helps) win championships, in any sports. Even the usually sure-handed Alexei Ramirez has struggled defensively. He’s already committed 10 Errors this season, and we’re not even halfway through. 10 Errors, and 1 HR from your starting shortstop in mid-June? THAT’S a problem.
(3.) Even if this team has 5 Chris Sale’s in their starting rotation, they would struggle to win. Though, I shouldn’t say that as the rest of the rotation has pitched very well, even in the absence of Jake Peavy (recently sent to the DL) and Gavin Floyd (Tommy John Surgery, and probably seen his last days in a White Sox uniform) out for the season.
If you don’t hit, and play poorly defensively, it’s hard to win in the MLB, regardless of how good your pitching is. Unfortunately, 2-1 losses have become a common theme for the Sox in 2013. And if things don’t change, and change soon, that theme will continue, and the Sox will be sellers in July. Maybe that’s for the best?
Alex Rios has been one of the few bright spots this year in the White Sox offense. Sox fans have certainly gotten used to Rios’ consistency at the plate, and in the field.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to our ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen for preparing today’s featured article. Brian was born and raised in Chicago Heights, IL, a south suburb of Chicago. He attended Illinois St. University, majoring in education/teaching. Brian now lives in Joliet, IL with his wife Suzanne two daughters, Abby, 9, and Grace, 4.
He has worked at The Little Guys Home Technology for 12 years as a salesman/system designer/custom integrator. Brian is an avid White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls fan. Follow @brianm731
Please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.Follow @mlbreports
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Posted on June 16, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @brianm731 on twitter, adam dunn, aj pierzynski, al central, alejandro de aza, alex ríos, alexei ramirez, Brian Madsen, chris sale, detroit tigers, erik bedard, gavin floyd, gordon beckham, jake peavy, jeff keppinger, kevin youkilis, paul konerko, Tyler Flowers. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.