The simple fact is that the White Sox need to start winning games at a prodigious clip—immediately.
As play begins on Tuesday, the Sox sit four games behind the Detroit Tigers with a record of 10-14 and the prospect of time already running short for Chicago.
Why? The Kansas City Royals will be around for quite a while considering their pitching staff. Meanwhile, the Tigers proved last year that if the knockout punch is not delivered early, they can hang around long enough to win the A.L. Central in the end.
Unfortunately, there are few signs that the White Sox are about to break out of their prolonged stretch of poor play.
After winning three games in a row following Hawk Harrelson’s now infamous tete-a-tete with Brian Kenny from MLB Network, the White Sox returned to their old ways and lost the next two.
It was bad baseball at it's finest—replete with shoddy defense, a lack of clutch hitting and poor pitching at the most inopportune times.
To be sure, the most obvious culprit has been the offense.
White Sox beat writer Scott Merkin noted on Sunday that the White Sox hit “.206 and struck out 82 times during their homestand and have struck out at least seven times in nine straight games.”
It is getting old and is too often repeated, but manager Robin Ventura has to do something about the lineup immediately. It doesn’t really matter what, just something.
Injuries are also piling up. Gavin Floyd is the latest member of the Opening Day roster to go on the disabled list. He joins John Danks—who is set to begin a rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte—Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo on the DL while Jeff Keppinger is day-to-day with back spasms.
When Ventura was asked about the current state of affairs, his comments were quite surprising. He said that once the White Sox “start getting guys back” they will “make adjustments from there (h/t Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune).”
It may be a simple case of reading too much into what Ventura said, but adjustments need to be made now, not later.
No doubt about it, the White Sox are in a bad situation. Injuries are part of baseball though, and they must find a way to persevere.
It begins against the Rangers Tuesday night.
Chicago's upcoming schedule is also something to consider. The month of May is not a kind one for the White Sox.
Sure, the Sox face teams with poor records like the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins, but they also face some teams that are off to hot starts like the Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. Add to that the fact that they only play six games against AL Central opponents and May is a crucial month.
Forget about it "being early." Dismiss the "it is a long season" mentality. The situation has reached critical mass.
The White Sox need to start winning series now. Otherwise, four games out of first place will quickly turn into 10 and this season will turn into a lost one.
MLBTradeRumors.com reported on Monday night that general manager Rick Hahn acquired Casper Wells from the A's. Let's hope that is a good place to start.