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Building Momentum at Home
Posted By Shaun Balmer On May 22 2011 @ 10:22 pm In Chicago White Sox | No Comments
Winners in 11 of their last 15 games, 5 series in a row without a losing series, a 5-2 home stand, and a TON of momentum. That’s everything the White Sox have been able to accomplish over the past two and a half weeks of the season. The Sox now embark on a tough 10-game road trip to Texas, Toronto, and Boston.
In order for the Sox to continue to build momentum they will need to keep pitching well. The starting pitchers have been outstanding for the most part. Phil Humber has been very consistent and could arguably be the best pitcher on the staff this year so far. Jake Peavy was phenomenal in his last start with a complete game, 3-hit shutout over Cleveland. Mark Buerhle is the same as he has always been, consistent and professional. Even Gavin Floyd, John Danks, and Edwin Jackson have pitched much better.
The offense is still a concern as they consistently struggle to score runs. The biggest concern is Adam Dunn as he hovers around .200 with little power numbers. Alexei Ramirez has been on fire lately helping to carry the load with the always producing Paul Konerko. Ultimately pitching and defense wins, but the offense will need to continue to improve for the Sox to make a full comback on the Indians.
As the season progresses the Sox will need to determine how to manage 6 starting pitchers. The current plan is to use a 6-man rotation, but the likelihood of that lasting the rest of the season is slim. I firmly believe that the Sox need to pick 5 starters and go with them, then attempt to trade the 6th. Edwin Jackson seems like the simple answer due to his inconsistent play and the fact that GM Kenny Williams supposedly only traded for him last year in an effort to trade for Adam Dunn. Don’t be surprised if John Danks’ name is shopped around this summer though. Danks will be up for a new contract soon and the Sox might decide to trade him before they have to re-sign him to a long-term deal. The other priority for Williams should be a leadoff hitter. Juan Pierre is just not getting the job done. Sox fans would love to see a deal for somone like Ichiro Suzuki, but it’s highly unlikely the Sox would add that sort of contract to an already maxed out payroll.
For now though the Sox continue to roll on and need another successful road trip to keep the momentum going, which would go a long way to cementing the Sox confidence that they are truly competitors in the AL Central.
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