ANAHEIM, Calif. — The White Sox have struggled against right-handed pitchers this season and there aren’t any easy solutions available.
The club brought a major league-worst .223 batting average against right-handed pitchers into Tuesday’s contest against Los Angeles Angels righty J.C. Ramirez. The right-handed heavy White Sox are slashing .223/.282/.356 as a club and have a 9-15 record when a right-hander is on the mound. The White Sox don’t have many left-handed hitting options and even one fewer after they outrighted Cody Asche off the 40-man roster on Tuesday. Asche — who hit .105/.177/.175 with one home run and four RBIs in 62 plate appearances — accepted an assignment to Triple-A Charlotte.
“Have better at-bats,” manager Rick Renteria said. “We’re heavily right-handed. So we have to get these guys to get the ball up into the zone so we can handle it a little better. Obviously they’re going to use a lot of secondary pitches that we’re going to have to be able to put in play in certain situations. We’ll find a way. We’ll just keep battling.”
The White Sox haven’t had as much trouble with left-handers as their .274 average is tied for the third-highest in the majors. But through 37 games, including Tuesday, the White Sox have faced 25 righties and 12 lefties.
The team’s only true left-handed hitter is catcher Omar Narvaez. The roster features three switch-hitters in Leury Garcia, Yolmer Sanchez and Melky Cabrera. Even in the minors the White Sox have limited options.
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Nick Delmonico flashed his potential in spring and has an .802 OPS against righties at Charlotte so far. Switch hitter Yoan Moncada could also change the team’s fortunes with a promotion. Danny Hayes has also shown some potential, too. But the sentiment all along has been that the White Sox won’t sacrifice development to fill a void in the majors.
That puts the club back at square one.
“You can’t miss your opportunities when you face the best pitchers,” hitting coach Todd Steverson said. “I think we missed a few opportunities time to time where we’ve had some pitchers on the ropes early in games and let them pitch a little longer in the game than they probably should have. We talk about it. We need to get these guys when we’ve got them on the ropes. It’s not saying we need to get a hit. We just need to execute more situations.”