Last August, Lucas Giolito was impressing White Sox fans with his performance on the mound. A few months later, it’s the fans who are now impressing Giolito.
“White Sox fans are just so dedicated,” the right-hander said while making sales calls to season-ticket holders a couple weeks ago. “They’re not just going and watching baseball, they’re watching baseball. It’s going to drive me to continue to try and improve and make them happy as well.”
Following a 2.38 ERA over seven starts in 2017, the 23-year old Giolito now figures to be a mainstay in the rotation, but his goals are much higher than just being a major league regular.
Giolito told fans over the phone that he hopes to pitch 200 innings in 2018 — a lofty goal considering only 15 pitchers were able to do so in the majors last season.
“That’s one of my little personal goals for the season,” he said. “When you’re a starting pitcher and throwing 200 innings, it means you’re doing some good things for the team.”
There is a certain level of accountability in Giolito when he speaks. And despite seven strong starts, he acknowledged that there is still work to be done. He has much higher expectations for himself and said last season’s promising finish is only a jumping-off point for his future.
“The goal is to have a full season in the big leagues and have some success,” he said.
And with players' camradery a common theme during SoxFest weekend, success might come a bit sooner than anticipated on the South Side.
“We’ve come together, we’re very, very close, and I think that we have a good chance to surprise some people this year,” Giolito proclaimed. “With Ricky (Renteria) at the helm, it’s just a really, really good environment.”
Just like the environment that Giolito and the White Sox are hoping to have at Guaranteed Rate Field for many summers to come.