White Sox: Team Moves Forward With Old, New Building Blocks In Tact

Sidney Brown follows the Chicago White Sox for WARR

Phase Two of the Chicago White Sox rebuild has two months left on the field for 2018. With little movement at the trade deadline and with established building blocks like Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia still on the roster, the White Sox are continuing their process of evaluating their youngest players while eyeing necessary needs for 2019 and beyond.

A 4-8 record since the all-star break is irrelevant in the big picture, but the trends remain showing inconsistency throughout the Sox with some key players playing up while others sink. Along the way some surprises have popped up with but those performances mostly remain under the radar due to overall focus on the team being restrained.

Here’s a look at the numbers for the month of July from members of the Sox’s core:

Jose Abreu: .200 average, 4 home runs, 12 RBI, 18 hits
Overall: .260 AVG, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 105 H
Fact: Became the first player in White Sox history to tally 30 doubles in each of his first five MLB seasons.

Matt Davidson: .197 AVG, HR, 7 RBI, 12 H
Overall: .226 AVG, 16 HR, 42 RBI, 64 H
Fact: With a home run against Kansas City Tuesday, Davidson became the 12th player in White Sox history to hit at least 8 home runs against a single opponent in a season.

Davidson joins a group that includes six other Sox within the past 20 years who’ve hit 8 homers against a single opponent, the first being Albert Belle who hit 8 homers against KC in 1998, the most recent being Adam Dunn who dinged out 8 against the Twins in 2013. Among the group at 8, Belle’s knocks came in only 12 games, the only mark remotely close to the 10 Davidson has only needed.

With seven more games left against the Royals, Davidson has a good chance at setting a new franchise record for most home runs against a single opponent in one campaign. Below you can see the only Sox ahead of him.

Gus Zernial: 1950 vs. Browns (11 home runs in 22 games)
Joe Kuhel: 1940 vs. Yankees (9 home runs in 23 games)
Roy Sievers: 1960 vs. Senators (9 home runs in 22 games)

Elsewhere, Daniel Palka has concluded his best month of his breakthrough season with a split of .254 AVG/ 8 HR/14 RBI/17 H for July. Yoan Moncada has put himself among the team leaders in hits (21) for July but he’s still struggling average-wise (.225) while maintaining modest power numbers (13 HR, 43 RBI).

The Sox player of the moment has to be Leury Garcia, who’s maintained great numbers in the past month while solidifying himself as a reliable contact hitter overall in ’18.

Garcia (July): .308 AVG, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 20 H, 2 triples
Overall: (68 Games Played) .279 AVG, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 61 H
Fact: Check the highlights at the top of this post from Garcia’s 4 RBI game against against Toronto on July 28 as part of a 9-5 Sox win.

Rodon, Giolito Take Control

Starting pitching has turned upwards thanks to Carlos Rodon (2-0 record, 1.88 ERA, 27 K, 12 BB) and Lucas Giolito (2-1, 5.28 ERA, 20 K, 14 B) while growing pains continue for Reynaldo Lopez (1-4, 7.39 ERA) and Dylan Covey (1-4, 6.65 ERA).

This young staff has the potential to be competitive for the final two months but it has to put less pressure on the offense to stay in games. Rodon is setting a standard for quality starts at least, hopefully what he’s doing will prove to be contagious eventually.

Giving Props

To Jim Thome who was officially inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 on July 29.

Thome played for the White Sox from 2006 to 2009 and belted out his 500th career home run in a Sox uniform against the Angels on September 16, 2007.

What a story for a guy from the small town of Peoria, Illinois to make it to the big stage to play in two World Series and 22 seasons total in the Majors (1991-2012) finishing eighth all time on the home run list with 612, along with 2,328 career hits. Thome has long been a true class act and he’s now officially one of the game’s greatest players.

Team Leaders (as of 7/31)

Batting Avg.: Jose Abreu (.260)

Home Runs: Jose Abreu (16)

RBI: Jose Abreu (59) 

Hits: Jose Abreu (105)

Pitching Leaders (as of 7/31)

Wins: Lucas Giolito (7)

ERA: James Shields (4.56)

Strikeouts: James Shields (112)

Holds: Jace Fry (10)

Saves: Joakim Soria (16)

Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio and Sidney Brown on Twitter @sidkid80

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