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White Sox Thu Apr 25 2013

Lack Of Offense Has Doomed The White Sox in April

Sox_200.pngThrough 20 games, the Sox have been a team with no discernible strength. Every other good American League team has one, but the Sox don't.

The Royals have a ton of youth and a killer bullpen. The Tigers have three superstars. The Red Sox have three top-notch starters. The Orioles eke out close games. The Athletics score a lot of runs. The Yankees will have an influx of talent in a few months.

The Sox? They're a team that jacks a lot of homers, but not that many homers. They have 23 on the year, with 15 at home. The team has a lot of weaknesses, though: Chicago doesn't get on base, draw walks, hit with runners in scoring position, or hit late in games. Other than Alex Rios and Conor Gillaspie, none of the regulars have been producing at the plate.

Even the defense has been dreadful. They have 13 errors this year, and they've made some real boneheaded errors that have cost the team some games.

Of course, the big counter to all of their woes is to say "small sample size." That is fair to say about the defense. But the offense had the same issues last year. This is what the Sox are: a team that eschews walks but relies on homers.

Another issue they didn't deal with last year? Injuries. Not counting John Danks, only Alejandro De Aza and Gavin Floyd missed an extended stretch of time. This year, both Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo have been placed on the DL, causing the Sox to shuffle the lineup. Gillaspie has worked fine for Beckham, but the Sox have used DeWayne Wise, Jordan Danks and Blake Tekotte in the outfield.

One bright spot has been the starting pitching. The Sox have gotten some good outings from their starters: Chris Sale, Jake Peavy, Jose Quintana and even Dylan Axelrod have all had three good performances. But, of Chicago's 12 quality starts, the team is 6-6 in those games. And it's not because of the bullpen.

A couple tweaks can jump-start the offense. Robin Ventura can mix up the batting order (and bat Alex Rios leadoff?), and the hitters can improve their patience (.258 average on first-pitch hacks). Many of the team's issues are more deeply rooted, like the make-up of the roster, but there's a chance they can salvage what they have. This same group of guys were good enough to compete most of last year, flaws and all.

Maybe the Sox can earn a playoff berth by socking a ton of solo home runs.

 
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