One fourth of the season has been played, and the White Sox still have as many losses as they do wins. A lack of hitting has kept this team from leading the pack in the AL Central, which is actually good news, since the bats tend to warm up with the weather.
Carlos Quentin, AJ Pierzynski and Jermaine Dye have been the only consistent producers in the offense. Joe Crede, after a torrid start, has fallen off. The rest of the lineup has ranged from disappointing to awful, with Paul Konerko, Jim Thome, Orlando Cabrera and Nick Swisher all well below their expected numbers. These players all have track records of success, which indicates it should only be a matter of time before they start producing.
The main reason to be optimistic about this season has been the pitching staff. The rotation has been one of the best in baseball, despite Mark Buerhle's struggles. Javier Vazquez is pitching to his potential, Jose Contreras looks like the Jose of 2005, John Danks has made everyone forget Jon Garland and Gavin Floyd has been a well above-average 5th starter. Both Danks and Floyd have shown flashes of ace potential. In the bullpen, Bobby Jenks has been very good again as closer, blowing only 2 opportunities. The setup and middle relief has, for the most part, been a major improvement over last season.
One would expect the team to win at a better clip as the offense comes around. If it continues to struggle, look for Joe Crede and Jermaine Dye to be traded for highly regarded prospects to rebuild a depleted farm system. One player who should see a callup before long is Jerry Owens, who could provide a spark the leadoff spot has lacked this year. A trade of Dye would allow Nick Swisher to move to LF and Carlos Quentin to RF, making room for Owens in CF. Brian Anderson would see more ABs as well. Crede is still likely to be moved to make room for Josh Fields, his value has been much improved now that he has shown he is 100% healthy. Juan Uribe could also be traded, and while Alexei Ramirez is on the roster, he would likely be sent down to make room for Chris Getz, who would bring better defense than Ramirez and the type of OBP Ken Williams has attempted to install in this year's lineup.