Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News arrow-downArrow Down icon Arrow Up icon

Upsides, downsides from White Sox homestand

@scottmerkin
May 5, 2019

CHICAGO -- What’s the best way to describe this nine-game White Sox homestand, culminating with Boston’s 9-2 victory Sunday in front of the season's first sellout crowd of 36,553 at Guaranteed Rate Field? There were some great moments and some tougher moments over the 5-4 stretch, including three straight losses

CHICAGO -- What’s the best way to describe this nine-game White Sox homestand, culminating with Boston’s 9-2 victory Sunday in front of the season's first sellout crowd of 36,553 at Guaranteed Rate Field?

There were some great moments and some tougher moments over the 5-4 stretch, including three straight losses to the defending World Series champions.

“Exactly what you said. Exactly what you said,” White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson said Sunday. “We gotta keep going. It’s a long season.”

Let’s take a look at some pluses and minuses from their recent run on the South Side.

Box Score

Minus: Too many injuries

Outfielder Eloy Jiménez (high right ankle sprain), reliever Nate Jones (right elbow inflammation), reliever Ryan Burr (soreness in the A/C joint of his right shoulder) and starter Carlos Rodón (left elbow inflammation) were all key players placed on the injured list during this stretch. Jimenez will travel with the White Sox to Cleveland and is making great progress, and Burr could be activated Monday.

But Rodon and Jones figure to be out for a while, with Tommy John surgery a possibility for Rodon. Reliever Kelvin Herrera left Sunday’s loss with lower back stiffness, but White Sox manager Rick Renteria doesn’t expect it to be a prolonged absence.

Plus: Three walk-off wins

Anderson launched his first game-ending home run on April 26 against the Tigers, capping off a rally from 9-2 and 10-4 deficits. Nicky Delmonico produced the White Sox only victory against Boston with a three-run walk-off blast Thursday, and Yonder Alonso's two-run single allowed the White Sox to avoid a doubleheader sweep against the Orioles Wednesday.

Minus: Starting pitching

Ivan Nova, who opens the road trip Monday night against the Indians, is the only White Sox starter to work at least seven innings this season, on April 1 against Cleveland. Those shortened performances have put extra wear and tear on the bullpen, with White Sox pitchers owning an 8.00 ERA over the last four games.

Plus: Dylan Covey

Covey took Rodon’s spot in the rotation and worked a season-high 4 2/3 innings Sunday. He allowed two runs on five hits and kept the White Sox close against Rick Porcello and the Red Sox.

“Like we talked about before, just trust my stuff,” Covey said. “When I think out there, that's when things are going awry. Just got to trust and know that my body is going to put me in the right position to execute every pitch.

“I thought I did a good job today. Knew I didn't have a long leash so I just wanted to be as efficient as possible and go as deep as I could.”

Minus: Allowing big innings

Boston scored nine runs in the third against Manny Bañuelos on Saturday. They scored seven in the eighth Sunday against three relievers to break open what was a 2-2 deadlock before that point.

“You want to play nine innings. And that one just got away from us,” Renteria said. “We're going to use it to learn from it. We'll talk about it, and maybe the next time around we can slow that moment down.”

Plus: Giolito returns, Lopez K barrage

This is a combination item, with the two young hurlers emerging as potential keys for the future rotation. Reynaldo López set a career-high with 14 strikeouts against the Tigers on April 28, while Lucas Giolito returned from the injured list Thursday and looked strong in five innings against Boston that day.

Plus: José Abreu's offense

Abreu launched his 154th career home run Sunday, tying him with Bill Melton for eighth place in franchise history. He has reached base in 14 consecutive games and has five home runs and 23 RBIs over that span.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.