They heavily invested in the offense in the offseason and the White Sox still think the group has yet to find its groove.
After 52 games, the White Sox are still doing what they can to get the level of the offense’s performance up to par.
On Friday night that meant the White Sox dropped Melky Cabrera from the second spot to sixth, swapping him with Alexei Ramirez, who also is struggling. Cabrera, who signed a $42-milllion deal in the offseason, has a .235/.272/.268 slash line, while Ramirez, a 2014 Silver Slugger winner, is hitting at a .226/.244/.313 clip.
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“(Cabrera) would like to be doing better,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s a guy that his track record and his experiences, he would like to be doing better. He feels the responsibility of that and he doesn’t shy away from it. But he realizes he needs to do a little bit more and realizes he wants to do it.”
The same could be said for the majority of the lineup.
The White Sox are on pace to score 595 runs this season despite free-agent deals for Cabrera and Adam LaRoche ($25 million over two years) as well as the signings of Gordon Beckham and Emilio Bonifacio to bolster the bench. Yet the only regulars with an OPS-plus above the league average of 100 are Jose Abreu (133), Avisail Garcia (118) and LaRoche (117). General manager Rick Hahn believes many of the struggling players are set to get back to their career norms, which would provide a boost to an offense that has scored three or fewer runs in 28 of 52 games.
“There’s a lot about the offense to like and we think there’s still a lot about the offense to like in terms of how it compliments each other, the power in the middle, the ability to run and show some athleticism and do some of the little things to help you win,” Hahn said. “But we just haven’t been consistent.”
Cabrera has only five extra-base hits this season after he had 54 in 2014 with the Toronto Blue Jays. But through an interpreter, Cabrera made it clear he’s still confident in his abilities.
Earlier this week, Cabrera said: “I don’t change anything in my game. I just try to keep my focus, try to keep my approach at the plate. Baseball is a hard sport. … You have to try to have confidence in your game and confidence in your work. That’s the only way that you can, sooner rather than later, get out of the slump.”