Welcome to the first edition of my new weekly section, South Sidings—my own views and opinions on the previous week's White Sox action. I hope you enjoy!
So, we're 14 games into the season and at 8-6, the Chicago White Sox are off to a decent start, with the positives greatly outweighing the negatives.
Let's take a closer look at this on a player by player basis:
C A.J Pierzynksi—He is off to an average start at the plate, batting .289, and will serve as a great mentor for both Corky Miller and Tyler Flowers. Verdict: Asset.
1B Paul Konerko—After a hugely disappointing 2008 campaign, Konerko has come out of the blocks flying, batting .308 and slugging .558. Verdict: Asset.
2B Chris Getz—He struggled the first week of the season, but has found his feet the last week and is looking like a really winner. Verdict: Jury still out.
3B Josh Fields—Again, Fields has had a slow start to the season, but is starting to heat up with a big game last night in Baltimore. Verdict: Shaping up to be a big asset.
SS Alexei Ramirez—He's had a poor start to the year, with his momentum from 2008 not carrying over. Batting only .149, he needs to heat up and soon. Verdict: Sophomore curse should end soon. Verdict: Asset.
LF Carlos Quentin—Fears over his surgically repaired wrist have been quickly dispelled as he leads the AL with seven homers. Verdict: Huge asset.
CF Brian Anderson—He has his chance to prove himself with an injury to Dewayne Wise and has started quite well, hitting .276 in eight games. Verdict: Jury still out.
RF Jermaine Dye—After a poor spring, Dye has been electric so far, hitting for both average and power. Also, his highlight reel defensive skills are some of the best in the league. Verdict: Asset.
SP Mark Buehrle—His shaky start against Kansas has been quickly forgotten with two solid outings. Verdict: Asset.
SP Gavin Floyd—Floyd has had a decent first three games, but he needs to recapture his 2008 dominance. Verdict: Jury still out.
SP John Danks—His 0.95 ERA is good enough for third in baseball. Three dominating performances have Cy Young awards in the minds of Sox fans already. He will turn into the staff ace. Verdict: Huge asset.
SP Jose Contreras—After a disastrous 2008, he shows no signs of improvement so far, with an 0-3 record and an 8.04 ERA. Verdict: Big liability.
SP Bartolo Colon—After a good opening two weeks, with no runs given up in game one and a lucky grand slam ruining game two, Colon is looking like a solid No. 5 guy. Verdict: Jury still out.
Assets: Corky Miller, D.J Carrasco, Octavio Dotel, Scott Linebrink, Matt Thornton, Bobby Jenks.
Liabilities: Mike McDougal.
Jury still out: Clayton Richard, Wilson Betemit, Brent Lillibridge.
Overall, the team is in good shape and will definitely be a big factor in a tight AL Central.
Notes: Recent acquisition Scott Podsednik is batting just .150 with three hits in 20 at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte...Jeff Marquez, who has a shot at a starting role during the spring, is also struggling with an 0-3 record and a 13.06 ERA...Sox top prospects Tyler Flowers and Gordon Beckham have started the year well at Double-A Birmingham, batting .342 and .306 respectively.