Following a busy offseason, expectations soared around the White Sox. But the South Siders are off to a slow start to begin the 2015 campaign.
Heading into play Tuesday, Robin Ventura's squad is just 12-17 with the worst run differential (-39) in the American League. Of course, the White Sox have played the fewest games in the AL, thanks to rainouts and the two postponements in Baltimore.
Shockingly, the Sox are actually 10-5 at home to start the season. It's their road record that's the problem. The White Sox are 2-12 on the road, tied for the worst stretch in the first 14 road games in franchise history. They have never started a season 2-13 on the road (went 2-12 in 1932 and 1942, but won the next game both years). Can they avoid history Tuesday night in Milwaukee?
The Sox have scored the fewest runs in the American League with only 106 through their first 29 games. Only the Giants and Phillies have scored fewer runs in Major League Baseball, and they don't have the benefit of the DH.
On offense, the Sox are seventh in the AL in average (.254), but they're not drawing walks (72 free passes; only Kansas City has drawn fewer) and they're not driving the ball, with the fewest extra-base hits (65) in the MLB.
After much ado about Vince Coleman's impact on the team's baserunning in spring training, the Sox have the fewest stolen bases in the AL with only six, and they've been caught stealing 10 times. They're the only team in the AL with a stolen base percentage below .500.
Pitching hasn't been much better. As a staff, the White Sox have allowed a .276 batting average against, the highest in the AL and second only to the Colorado Rockies (.291) in all of baseball.
A lot of that has come from the starting rotation:
—Highest Starter ERA MLB this season (entering Tuesday):
5.63 Red Sox
5.21 Blue Jays
5.16 White Sox
—The White Sox have a quality start in only 13 of 29 games this season - three each by John Danks, Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana, one by Carlos Rodon.
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—Jeff Samardzija first 7 starts of season:
2014: 0-3, 1.62 ERA, 41 hits in 50.0 IP, 2 HR
2015: 2-2, 4.80 ERA, 53 hits in 45.0 IP, 6 HR
—Bonus quirky stat: Adam Eaton got his first RBI of the season Monday in his 109th plate appearance. He had the most PAs in MLB this year without an RBI to that point. Former Cub and current Mariners outfielder Justin Ruggiano (45 PAs) is now the leader for most PAs without an RBI this season.
Thanks to CSN Stat Guru Chris Kamka for stats/info.