What's Wrong With The White Sox?

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What's Wrong With The White Sox?
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

 

The Chicago White Sox are having early season troubles. They sit at 5-9 and are already five games behind the Minnesota Twins and tied for last in the division.

After such high expectations, it's easy to wonder what the causes are for their early season struggles?

 

There's no leadoff hitter.

Juan Pierre: .192 avg, 5 R, 1 RBI, .263 OBP, 6 SB/1 CS
Scott Podsednik: .468 avg, 6 R, 6 RBI, .537 OBP, 7 SB/0 CS

It seems like the White Sox made a mistake.

Pierre is costing the White Sox a cool $7 million while Podsednik only asked for a multi-year contract, which would cost less than one year of Pierre's salary.

So while Podsednik leads the league in batting average, stolen bases, and was the White Sox spark last year, Juan Pierre is struggling in Chicago...again.

This decision was a silly one. Juan Pierre was not a defensive upgrade from Scott Podsednik, who massively improved his defense. Pierrre has got a weak arm, Podsednik is just as fast, and arguably has a better glove .

 

Where's the offense?

Alex Rios is currently leading qualified White Sox in batting average with a .269 mark. The team is batting .223 overall.

Gordon Beckham is in a sophomore slump (.222 avg). Alexei Ramirez is off to another slow start (.217 avg). Juan Pierre, Carlos Quentin, and AJ Pierzynski are all batting below the Mendoza line.

The White Sox should change things up in the lineup, switching Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez, to look a little something like:

1. Juan Pierre-LF
2. Alexei Ramirez-SS
3. Carlos Quentin-RF
4. Paul Konerko-1B
5. Andruw Jones-DH
6. Alex Rios-CF
7. Gordon Beckham-SS
8. AJ Pierzynski-C
9. Mark Teahen-3B

Alexei Ramirez has had success in the second spot, batting .281 when he was in the number two spot last year. Gordon Beckham also had success lower in the order last year (1.024 OPS).

 

Starting pitching has been disappointing.

Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, and Freddy Garcia all have ERAs at, or above, 6.00.

Peavy has been particularly disappointing, but we still need more time to judge him.

Floyd lasted only one inning in his last outing, and is having tremendous problems keeping his pitch counts down early.

Garcia only lasted three innings in his last outing, and if his struggles continue, Dan Hudson will need to be called up.

John Danks and Mark Buehrle have been good, thus far. Ironically, the bullpen has been the best in the American League so far, with a league-low 1.64 ERA, and .185 batting average against.

 

Chicago sports are frustrating. The Blackhawks are struggling in the postseason. The Bulls are about to be swept by the Cavaliers. And Chicago baseball has been awfully painful to watch, whether you're a White Sox or Cubs fan.

It's too early to hit the panic button, but the White Sox offense has to put up or shut up.

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