The White Sox at Week 2

chicagowhitesox91We are 2 weeks into the season and I find the White Sox right where I expected them: hanging around and in the mix. Power bats are getting them their runs, and their pitching staff has done a good job. In the AL, only Seattle has allowed less runs than the Sox.

For the Sox on offense, it’s all about the long ball. 4 regulars have slugging percentages over .500:

  • Carlos Quentin, .814
  • Jermaine Dye, .674
  • Paul Konerko, .636
  • Jim Thome, .514

Those 4 players have combined for 17 of the Sox 18 homeruns. The biggest disappointment at the plate has been Alexei Ramirez. He’s hitting just .125 with zero extra-base hits. He had a very slow start last year, so there is reason for hope that he’ll heat up soon. He also has showed some great range at shortstop, and he hasn’t made an error there yet. That transition has been smooth.

Pitching has been the strength early on. Bartolo Colon has been a pleasant surprise and the Sox top 3 of Buehrle, Danks and Floyd have been solid. Danks may be taking the next step in his development after a stellar 2008. He has allowed only 1 run in his first 2 starts, and he has struck out more batters than innings pitched.

The bullpen is filled with power arms and they are blowing away hitters so far. Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel have yet to allow a run, and they have combined for 15 Ks in less than 9 innings. Bobby Jenks is 3-3 in save opportunities, and Matt Thornton and Clayton Richard give the Sox two good lefties in the pen.

Once again the AL Central looks like anybody’s division. I fully expect the Sox to stay in the race. If Jose Contreras continues to falter, look for 2007 1st round pick Aaron Poreda to get the call. He could fill out the rotation, or head to the pen to take Clayton Richard’s spot if he gets promoted to a starter.

If the need a bat they may call up 2008 1st round pick Gordon Beckham. Beckham is crushing the ball at AA Birmingham. He is hitting .368/.442/.632 in his first 9 games. Where he would play in the field would be the main question, but most agree his bat is big league ready.

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