What does success look like for the White Sox in 2019?

Posted: March 30, 2019 in #BringYour"A"GameSportsTalk!, #ChicagoSportsAndMore, entertainment, news, Sports, White Sox Baseball
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Everybody likes to ask the same question this time of year: How many wins?

In the days leading up to Opening Day, I and everyone else that pays attention to the White Sox have answered that question with best guesses and informed predictions. But all of them have one thing in common. No matter the number, the White Sox win total is not expected to be enough to clinch a postseason berth.

And the truth is that expectation exists because the White Sox are still in the thick of their rebuilding process. And these things take time. On the other side of town, the Cubs had five straight fifth-place finishes before their ascent in 2015. Down in Texas, the Houston Astros averaged 104 losses for four straight seasons before making the playoffs in 2015, then missed the postseason again in 2016 before their championship season in 2017.

Rebuilds take time.

So if the White Sox are most likely destined for another season of development at the major and minor league levels, what does success look like?

Well, for starters, the players in that White Sox clubhouse don’t want to hear about patience and another rebuilding season any more than any anxious member of the fan base. In the early days of spring training, the voices in the clubhouse were talking about focusing on the present as much as the future, about winning now.

“There’s a point in time where it’s s**t or get off the pot, man. I mean, there’s a point where you’ve got to make a turn,” Carlos Rodon, the team’s Opening Day starter here in Kansas City, told Our Chuck Garfien last month. “I’ve been on teams like this before, not in the big leagues, but during my younger baseball career, where they’re OK or weren’t good at all, and there’s a point where the team turned and we became great or just winners. We just came together and it just happened. It’s got to happen soon. We’ve got to start picking up some ground. This is about winning, and I get the whole ‘there’s a process to winning,’ and I agree a hundred percent with Rick (Hahn), but it’s time.”

“We’re about winning here,” starting pitcher Lucas Giolito said last month. “It’s not about trying to win. It’s not ‘Oh we’re feeling it out.’ It’s about winning now. That’s pretty much it. That’s the most fun, when you’re winning. That’s the mindset now. I’m all about it.”

“I want to win every day,” shortstop Tim Anderson said at Camelback Ranch in Arizona. “I’m not worried about the future, I’m worried about right now.”

And so success, for these players, looks like wins. And there’s reason to believe there will be a significant increase in those after the White Sox won just 62 games a season ago. Top-ranked prospect Eloy Jimenez has arrived from the minor leagues and should make a big impact in the middle of the order. Offseason additions in the bullpen (Alex Colome and Kelvin Herrera) and in the lineup (Jon Jay and Yonder Alonso) have undoubtedly made this roster better. Dylan Cease, the No. 3 prospect in the organization, should arrive before the season concludes, providing a summertime jolt to the starting rotation. If Rodon, Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez can find more consistency on that starting staff, if Anderson and Daniel Palka can improve their batting averages and on-base percentages after putting up some good power numbers last season, if the White Sox can take advantage of playing against the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers a combined 38 times.

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