Chicago White Sox: Just what exactly is this team so far?

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Are the Chicago White Sox better than they’ve shown thus far? Or, are they right on track with expectations?

Everyone expected the Chicago White Sox to be in a rebuilding mode in 2019. So it’s no surprise the team has five wins against nine losses as I write this.

The bigger question, though, is what kind of team this, or perhaps will be once the rebuild is complete.

The usual caveats apply here: Two weeks or so is an extremely small sample size, as things will change over the season, et cetera. But after a relatively “normal” first five games – the scores of the next few games got weird.

The Sox needed nine runs to beat a red-hot Seattle Mariners team in their home opener, and they got 10. They then gave up nine and 12 runs in the next two games against Seattle, losing both.

No big deal, right? Seattle has started the year of playing well, and the Mariners can hit. But then the Sox gave up 24 runs while being swept at home by the Tampa Bay Rays. The fewest runs the Rays scored in a game during the series was five, and the while the Sox scored five runs in the second game, that contest was bookended by games in which they managed just one run.

From there, the ChiSox moved to New York, where they took two of three from the Yankees. Mother Nature lent as assist, as the first game was called early due to rain – but not so early that the game wasn’t official. Potential future star Eloy Jimenez hit his first and second major-league home runs in the 9-6 win, adding a little more joy to the win for Sox fans.

Then the Sox proceeded to get one-hit in a shutout loss the next day.

Finally, the Sox spotted the Yankees an early lead before a Tim Anderson grand slam allowed them to take two of three in the Bronx.

It feels like the Sox found some equilibrium after the Yankees series. Not just because they took two out of three, but because they shelling they’d endured for five straight games – all losses – seemed to longer be a problem. The Sox did allow six runs in the first game, but just four in the second and two in the third.

It’s true the Yankees have a lot of key players on the injured list, but that doesn’t mean Sox fans can’t feel good about taking two wins in a tough place to play. More to the point, it seems that Sox pitching likely isn’t so bad that they’ll be constantly bombarded – perhaps the five lopsided losses against the Mariners and Rays were just blips in the long baseball season.

For a few days I was concerned this would be a team that couldn’t pitch AND couldn’t hit, in addition to one that commits fielding miscues. There were also times it looked like they’d be able to hit, but not pitch. While I still expect fielding to be an adventure, I feel that the hitting and pitching may be stabilizing.

I still don’t expect this Sox team to be ready to compete yet. Few do. But perhaps the rebuild won’t be as painful to watch as I feared it might be after that five-game stretch.

Next. White Sox: Positives, negatives from weekend series. dark

Growing pains happen, but so, too, does growth. Perhaps we saw some of the latter in the Bronx this past weekend.