With the playoffs underway - and the White Sox not in them - we decided to look back on the 2019 season and take a glance into the future. The ‘team of the future’ just might have a lot to offer… and it might already be here.
We sat down with our Chuck Garfien, Vinnie Duber, Leila Rahimi, Ozzie Guillen and Scott Merkin, White Sox writer for MLB.com, to get their take on the South Siders.
First up, the best storylines of the 2019 White Sox season.
“It’s tough to choose one,” says Chuck Garfien just before naming his top four storylines of the season in Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito.
“The best story of 2019 has got to be Lucas Giolito,” said Vinnie Duber. “To go from statistically the worst pitcher in baseball in 2018 to an All-Star and the ace of the staff in 2019… amazing.”
Lucas Giolito finished the 2018 season with a 10-13 record, a 6.13 ERA and 90 walks. Fast-forward to the end of his 2019 campaign and he’s improved to a 14-9 record, a 3.41 ERA, and a 1.064 WHIP. Giolito had not recorded a single complete game or shutout in his young career until his 2019 season when he tossed three complete games and two shutouts.
So, what does this mean? Well, it means you can expect to see more of the ‘2019 style’ Lucas Giolito. With Dylan Cease entering his first full season and Michael Kopech set to return after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Giolito might be the ace now, but there could be some internal competition over who becomes the ace of the future.
“The way he performed against some of the league’s best teams was something to behold,” says Leila Rahimi. “Someone is gonna emerge to become the ace, and it turned out to be Lucas Giolito.”
Wondering what Michael Kopech has been up to? Michael Kopech can still throw 100 post-surgery.
[MORE: ‘What we learned in 2019’]