White Sox

White Sox Road Ahead: Needing the offense to step up

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White Sox Road Ahead: Needing the offense to step up

Another poor offensive showing against the Royals meant another loss for the White Sox, who now have lost 10 of their last 13 games. CSN's Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton discuss how the South Siders can get the offense going as they prepare for the Cubs in the White Sox Road Ahead, sponsored by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda Dealers.

After dropping a three-game set in Kansas City to the defending AL-champion Royals the White Sox now have lost eight of their last 10 games to fall seven games under .500 and nearly out of the Wild Card hunt.

Robin Ventura's group won't have an easy time recovering as they face a pair of red-hot ball clubs at home this week. First, MVP frontrunner Mike Trout and the Angels, holders of the second Wild Card spot, come to U.S. Cellular Field for a three-game set.

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Then it's a rematch with the Cubs, who have won nine of their last 10 games to take a commanding lead in the second Wild Card spot in the National League.

And according to White Sox analyst Bill Melton, it'll be the White Sox offense that gives them a necessary spark facing a pair of good teams.

"They're not going to go anywhere until they start hitting," Melton said. "There's no way. This is a ball club that really needs to score runs. We've cut down a lot of our mistakes defensively, we actually haven't had that consistent pitching like we had prior to the All-Star break. We really need offense to win games."

See what else Melton and Chuck had to say in the video above.

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

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USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: