The Chicago White Sox' Shaky Start to 2010: Good and (Mostly) Bad Surprises
The White Sox are awful.
There are a few other adjectives and nouns to describe the White Sox so far in the 2010 season, but those would be bleeped out.
The Sox have had terrible starting pitching mixed with a streaky offense that can't get on base but has provided a lot of home runs.
The question marks on the Sox have actually panned out pretty well so far, whereas those many expected to be solid producers have been terrible.
Welcome to the AL, Jake
Jake Peavy has pitched 28.1 innings and has given up 25 earned runs on 32 hits and 20 walks.
Sitting on an ERA of 7.85, it is safe to say this is not the Peavy the White Sox had wanted until 2013.
I guess leaving the National League, where apparently Carlos Silva and Livan Hernandez are Cy Young award candidates, and Petco, where Jon Garland has a 0.75 ERA as opposed to a 3.94 road ERA as the current Padres' ace, really caught up to Peavy.
The AL Would Also Like To Welcome Juan Pierre
Juan Pierre is the perfect symbol of "those guys Kenny (Williams) and Ozzie (Guillen) love and will sign no matter how old and what young prospect it costs."
See Ken Griffey Jr., Roberto Alomar, and Sandy Alomar.
Pierre currently sits at .200 with an OBP of .261 to go along with one RBI and eight runs scored. He has walked four times.
Pierre has stolen nine bases, but he's been caught three times, leaving him with a pedestrian 75 percent success rate.
In the previous two seasons, Pierre grounded into 10 double plays in 755 at-bats. He has grounded into four in 80 at-bats this season, which could mean his speed is simply not there anymore.
Oh, and he's also awful in the outfield.
Those players to be named the White Sox traded for Pierre have been named as 26-year-old Jon Link and 23-year-old starting pitcher John Ely and have already pitched for the Dodgers.
"Who will the White Sox trade to get Carl Crawford 10 years too late?" is the real question.
Meet Gordon Beckham—half of the reason the White Sox can't score runs. The other half being Juan Pierre.
Gordon Beckham is currently hitting .221 with one home run, three RBI, nine runs and an OBP of .310.
You can't have your top two spots in the lineup sporting OBPs well under .300 and a tad above .300. Well, unless you want to be really, really bad.
After a very solid rookie season by Beckham, a sophomore slump was definitely part of a worst-case scenario for the White Sox.
Paul Konerko: Your Home Run Champion
Paul Konerko is currently leading MLB in home runs, with 10.
I know that clearly won't last, but when would anyone think they could claim Paul Konerko the home run champion at any point in this season, let alone nearly a month after it began?
Keep in mind, Kelly Johnson is the home run champion of the NL currently, so these things are a tad skewed.
Konerko is sitting at .292 with 10 home runs, 18 RBI, 12 runs scored and an OBP of .398.
Not a bad start for a guy who has had trouble in the first half of most seasons.
It's Much Easier To Swing Without All That Fat
Andruw Jones has been the biggest surprise on the White Sox so far this season.
Jones is batting .259 with six home runs, nine RBI, 10 runs and an OBP of .394 after appearing in just 17 of the White Sox 22 games.
Five of Jones' six home runs have been solo shots due in part to the White Sox being offensively handicapped.
Jones has also stolen three bases without being caught.
Remember when the White Sox wanted to start Mark Kotsay over him?
Oh, wait, they did?
They are still doing it?
Sounds about right.
Alex Rios Is Answering Questions
Rios was the biggest question mark in the White Sox lineup next to Carlos Quentin.
Rios has answered his questions nicely batting .270 with three home runs, nine RBI, 10 runs, and eight stolen bases.
Now, if anyone bookmarking Rios in the Sox lineup could actually hit, the Sox may score more runs.
Mark Teahen Has Silently Come Around
Mark Teahen started off the season 3-for-21 with two runs and four RBI.
Since then, Teahen has been 12-for-35 but only has an additional RBI and nine runs because the White Sox lineup is so inconsistent.
Teahen has also shown some patience at the plate with 10 walks.
The Other Guys—No Good, Just Bad, and Ugly
Carlos Quentin, A.J. Pierzynski, and Alexei Ramirez are simply killing the White Sox.
Quentin sits at .183 with four home runs, 17 RBI, and 14 runs with an OBP of .322. Not bad if not for the .183 average.
It has basically been sink or swim with each Quentin at-bat, but he is currently 3-for-6 with two runs, three RBI, and a homer in his last two games...granted they were in the Rangers' launching pad baseball field.
The White Sox can handle Pierzynski's antics when he's hitting and calling good games. The starting pitching has been awful, though, and Pierzynski is batting .172 with four RBI and four runs to go along with a .232 OBP.
His hair may turn white soon...oh wait, it already is.
And so continues the ultimate excuse of "wait until the weather is warm for Alexei."
Ramirez is currently hitting .222 with one home run, eight RBI and four runs. He has an OBP of .233 and no stolen bases.
'Cept the weather hasn't been that bad in Chicago.
Sergio Santos has been the clear surprise, throwing eight scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts.
Question mark Scott Linebrink has also gone eight innings, giving up just one run.
Matt Thornton continues to dominate as a setup man, sporting a 1.59 ERA in 11.1 innings of work with 17 strikeouts tying him for the lead in MLB for strikeouts for a reliever.
After hot starts, the rest of the bullpen's ERAs are beginning to balloon.
Bobby Jenks sits at a 5.00, Tony Pena at a 4.66, Randy Williams at a 4.66, and J.J. Putz at a 3.52.
Together, this group has given up 34 hits and walked 29 in 35 innings.
That's 63 of their own baserunners in 36 innings.
The Rest of the Starting Staff—The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
John Danks is the only bright spot coming out of a White Sox rotation expected to be second or third in all of baseball.
Danks is 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP with 26 strikeouts and six walks.
Danks has, however, given up 19 hits in 29 innings, which means he's been a bit lucky on balls put in play, with a .224 BABIP. A couple bad bounces and his ERA could be over 3.00.
Mark Buehrle has a 2-3 record with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP with just 13 strikeouts and nine walks. Buehrle has given up 33 hits in 32.2 innings pitched.
Buehrle lives and dies by the groundout, and the bounces simply aren't going his way.
Last year Gavin Floyd led the league in stranded runners. A fine stat, but not exactly promising. This year, he isn't stranding them.
Floyd is 1-2 with an 6.49 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in five starts. He has struck out 23, walked 12 and given up 32 hits in 26.1 innings pitched.
Freddy Garcia joins the ugly crowd...not for his sweaty look, but rather his 5.82 ERA and his 1.39 WHIP to go along with his 10 walks and 13 hits in 17 innings of work.
There really is nothing a team can do if their starting pitching is simply not getting the job done. With an offense like the White Sox have, playing down five runs to start a game is just not going to work.