KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- They clearly have some holes to fill but Jose Abreu doesn’t think the White Sox are far off from fielding a winning club.
While he’s one of many who have difficulty in identifying exactly what ails the 62-70 White Sox, Abreu said effort and preparation haven’t been an issue. He also doesn’t think the club’s talent is an issue and believes it’s all about mindset. If the White Sox can learn from some of the difficult lessons they’ve received this season, there’s no reason they can’t win with a similar group next season.
“We don’t have to look for too much,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I think we have the core group here. We have very talented players.”
There’s little likelihood that the current roster returns in its entirety. Jeff Samardzija is headed for free agency and Alexei Ramirez could be, too. The White Sox could try to upgrade at catcher and might consider Tyler Saladino at shortstop if they can find a suitable third baseman in a trade or perhaps free agency.
The team may also have to consider trading Jose Quintana or a key bullpen arm to help fill some of its vacancies.
Despite a number of additions last offseason, the White Sox offense has still only averaged 3.82 runs per game. The team continues to struggle on the bases, ranking second in the majors with 61 outs on the bases, 15 more than the league average. And even though they’ve turned it around defensively, the White Sox are still second to last in Defensive Runs Saved, with minus-38.
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Those are just a few of the factors that have kept the White Sox -- who have had few health issues -- from making a real run all season.
“There are too many things to just point to one and say, ‘Well, it’s because of that,’” Abreu said. “But you have to learn about the bad streaks, you have to learn about the losses, about what you have been doing badly and try to fix it for next season. That’s the way I see this, and that’s the way I think we have to work.”
Still, despite their myriad struggles, the White Sox aren’t likely for a massive overhaul as they had this past offseason. Abreu doesn’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, either.
“It’s just a matter of working hard every day and trying to think and believe we are capable of winning and capable of reaching the playoffs and winning the World Series,” Abreu said. “It’s also a confidence point. If you can reinforce that, it’s going to put you in a better position for next year. (The front office has) to do their job also, but we have here the core players we need to win.”