The Chicago White Sox have lost the first three games of a four game set with the Minnesota Twins, and have now dropped 10 of their last 14 contests overall. The White Sox’ recent struggles are a humble reminder that they are not ready to win right now. Despite having some success and showing vast improvements from last year, this year’s team still has too many holes and has been too inconsistent to be considered serious contenders.
Danks Continues to Shine
The White Sox will send John Danks to the mound this afternoon while hoping to avoid a sweep. The left-hander has been outstanding recently after overcoming a dreadful outing in Houston on May 18th where he allowed seven earned runs on ten hits in 4.2 innings pitched. Since then, Danks has been on quite a roll with five straight quality starts and three straight victories. During that stretch, Danks has hurled 35.2 innings while surrendering just six earned runs on 24 hits, 9 walks, and 21 strikeouts. The current hot streak has lowered Danks’ ERA from 5.64 to 3.97, and it appears that he is finally back to being the pitcher that he was from 2008 to 2011 before his shoulder problems.
Flowers in a Funk
Tyler Flowers’ hot start seems like a distant memory now that the catcher has reverted back to his 2013 form. Flowers’ batting average was at .312 on May 25th, but as I noted previously, his success was due in large part to an unsustainable BABIP. Since then, Flowers has collected just four hits in 62 at-bats with a whopping 30 strikeouts and only five walks. Just as Flowers’ torrid start wasn’t going to last very long, neither will this horrific slump. However, I think it is safe to say that Flowers will never be the hitter the White Sox hoped he would become after posting a .275 average across six seasons in the minors.
Davidson Still Struggling
When the White Sox acquired Matt Davidson during the offseason, I firmly believed that he would be the starting third baseman by this point in the season. However, after a horrible first half of the season at Triple-A Charlotte, Davidson is nowhere near ready to supplant Conor Gillaspie as the team’s starting third baseman. Davidson is hitting a mere .191, with 11 home runs and 24 RBI and the lack of contact (87 Ks in 241 Abs) is very worrisome. I still think it is far too early to label Davidson as a bust because he could turn things around in the second half of the season, but it does not look too good right now.
Rodon Remains Unsigned
Top-pick Carlos Rodon has yet to sign with the White Sox, but that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering that he is a Scott Boras client. The White Sox have stressed that it would be beneficial to Rodon’s career to sign sooner rather than later, but Boras and Rodon are trying to get as much guaranteed money as possible. When Rodon was drafted, there was talk about him possibly being on a ‘Chris Sale’ type path to the majors and pitching out of the bullpen this season, but I don’t think that is reasonable at this point. Unless the White Sox get on a serious roll, they won’t be contenders in September and there would be no reason to rush Rodon to the majors. More realistically, it would be nice to see Rodon sign quickly so that he can start his career in the minors and position himself to make his debut as a starting pitcher with the White Sox at some point in 2015. With rotation issues after Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, and John Danks, White Sox fans can’t wait for that day to happen.