Just a week ago, I discussed the fact that the White Sox rotation was in disarray. With Buehrle, Floyd, and Danks firing on all cylinders, Contreras and Colon were way behind, looking as if they had one more start, one more chance to prove themselves as starters.
A week ago, the break down of these five pitchers looked like this:
Buehrle/Floyd/Danks - 6-1, 2.89 ERA
Contreras/Colon - 1-4, 7.47 ERA
What a difference a week can make. For the last seven days, the same setup looks like this:
Buehrle/Floyd/Danks - 1-2, 6.56 ERA
Contreras/Colon - 1-0, 1.93 ERA
Of course, the upside for the Sox is that Jose and Bartolo have shown they can pitch and dominate, especially Jose, who gave his first quality start since June 27 last year.
However, the inconsistencies show by Chicago in the first three weeks of the season is a huge worry for a team that needs to show they can compete in the AL Central early on.
And its not just the pitching that has fluctuated so wildly over the last week of baseball madness. At the plate, some of the team's hottest hitters through the first two weeks have cooled to ice over the last seven days.
Carlos Quentin, who hit seven homers in his first 12 games, is just 3-21 over his last six games, seeing his average drop to .236 and adding no homers or RBI. Jermaine Dye is also feeling the icey wind off Lake Michigan, going just 3-19 over the same span with just two RBI.
The only real bright spots at the plate have been the brilliant Paul Konerko, who is batting .338 on the year with 18 RBI, and the storming rookie Chris Getz, who is laying down real heat at 11-25 over his last six outings.
The team as a whole must find a level of consistency, and soon, in order to put together a competitive season. With the shape of the AL Central today, 85 wins could be more than enough to take the division crown.
Over to you, Ozzie.
Notes: Down on the farm, OF Scott Podsednik is starting to turn his slow start around, now batting .262, up from .152 a week ago...2B Jayson Nix, fresh back from injury that kept him out of most of the spring, is 9-for-20 in five starts so far...SP Carlos Torres is 2-1 with a minuscule 1.17 ERA, whilst fanning 23 and walking just nine in 23 innings of work...At Double-A Birmingham, top prospect Kyle McCulloch continues his excellent start to the year, now at 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA and just four walks in 26 innings.