Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Inbox: How high is the ceiling for Giolito?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers questions from White Sox fans
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Let's take a look at some White Sox questions after one week of the 2018 season.

Can Lucas Giolito be even better than Chris Sale when it's said and done for the South Siders?
-- David, Oak Park, Ill., @WritingDavid

CHICAGO -- Let's take a look at some White Sox questions after one week of the 2018 season.

Can Lucas Giolito be even better than Chris Sale when it's said and done for the South Siders?
-- David, Oak Park, Ill., @WritingDavid

Giolito should be allowed to become the best version of himself and make a full year's worth of starts before comparisons begin with one of the best pitchers in the game. Giolito certainly seems to have turned a corner, something White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper has noticed since Giolito arrived in the Majors last season.

"The mental guy was choking the physical guy and not letting the physical guy have his best attributes come out to play," Cooper said. "Now it's just about pitching."

:: Submit a question to the White Sox Inbox ::

Will the White Sox be legitimate players for big-time free agents this offseason?
-- Daniel, Lansing, Ill., @LittleCheddars

I'm not predicting who they go after or who they get, but that next step makes sense with the development stage of the rebuild this year. The White Sox should have a better idea of where they will need to supplement the young talent in order to move closer to finishing the rebuild.

What position will the White Sox look to fill in the 2018 Draft and in free agency in the offseason?
-- Eddie, Houston, @JH_Santiago21

It's too early to say on free agency, being one week into the 2018 season. As far as Draft, the strategy is to go with the tried but true best player available and of course manage the bonus pool money in what is considered by the White Sox a deep Draft. But director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler certainly is in contact with general manager Rick Hahn in terms of player need as the Draft progresses.

Will Yolmer Sanchez be the primary third baseman or will Matt Davidson play at the position? What date can we bring up Michael Kopech and Eloy Jimenez and retain their rights longer? Can we win 85 games this season?
-- Michael, Lake in the Hills, Ill., @Michaeltennnis16

Sanchez will be the primary third baseman, but Davidson will get games at third and first. Both are off to great starts. Kopech and Jimenez will reach the Majors when they've checked off all the Minor League challenges, much like Giolito, Yoan Moncada and Reynaldo Lopez last year. And as I wrote after the opener, there are concrete reasons to believe this team can be better than expected.

Do you think that the White Sox are done trading away impact players or do you think there is more to come?
-- Henry, Lockport, Ill., @henryfcichowski

Hahn mentioned talent acquisition will slow over the course of the next six months. But the White Sox still do have some accomplished veteran players who can bring back prospect returns if they decide to go in that direction.

Where do you see Blake Rutherford fitting into the rebuild? With Luis Robert and Jimenez looking like the top outfield prospects along with Avisail Garcia and Nicky Delmonico filling the third spot, do you see Rutherford as a prospect who could be flipped down the road?
-- Billy, Schererville, Ind., @b_hinton1322

Some of these prospects will end up not making it or included as parts of bigger trades, much like the ones bringing some of them to the White Sox. It's part of the rebuild process.

That fact makes this development period of the rebuild mentioned above so important. Rutherford struggled in his first year with the White Sox and has not hit for much power, but at 20 years old, he has plenty of time to grow. His confidence is there.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Lucas Giolito