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Cooper upbeat despite Sox woes on mound

Longtime pitching coach cites importance of developing amid rebuild
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- The pitching numbers for the 2017 White Sox through the first 100 games rank as stunningly off the mark for a team consistently near the top of Major League Baseball's arms race for the past decade.

Over the past 58 games, the starting rotation has posted a 5.89 ERA and has a mere 12 quality starts. Miguel Gonzalez, Saturday's starter against the Indians, is the only White Sox starter to record a quality start over the last 17 games (he has two). He also is the only White Sox starter to work seven-plus innings in the last 33 starts.

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CHICAGO -- The pitching numbers for the 2017 White Sox through the first 100 games rank as stunningly off the mark for a team consistently near the top of Major League Baseball's arms race for the past decade.

Over the past 58 games, the starting rotation has posted a 5.89 ERA and has a mere 12 quality starts. Miguel Gonzalez, Saturday's starter against the Indians, is the only White Sox starter to record a quality start over the last 17 games (he has two). He also is the only White Sox starter to work seven-plus innings in the last 33 starts.

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Thirty-one quality starts overall leave the White Sox 30th in baseball. Their 34 starts of 4 2/3 innings or less this season rank them second behind only the Reds, and their nine starts of seven-plus are tied with the Marlins for the fewest.

Video: CWS@CHC: Gonzalez K's three through 7 1/3 innings

Those statistics aren't completely unexpected with the White Sox in the midst of a rebuild and having traded six players and five pitchers since the start of the second half. It's rebuild perspective driving a positive mental approach for White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper.

"This time is important, and I'm not going to walk around being down or disappointed or negative," Cooper said. "I'm going to go about every day positively.

"I'm actually looking forward to the rest of this year and seeing how much we can accomplish with everybody. But especially I'll say Aaron Bummer and Carlos Rodon and everybody else, the [Chris] Becks, the [Brad] Goldbergs, and how much we might able to get accomplished with the time left."

Added Cooper: "I never get down if they have a bad game. "It's always, 'Let's get back to work' and staying on it. In the midst of this, I'm feeling like it's easy to get down in the dumps, but I'm not going to do it."

Cooper also is looking forward to the arrival of Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer, top prospects representing good things to come via the White Sox rebuild. He believes those additions "can do nothing but refresh us."

Video: Top Prospects: Lucas Giolito, RHP, White Sox

"It's a very, very important time for every coach in the Chicago White Sox organization," Cooper said. "To take the guys that we are getting and make sure that we are dotting the I's and crossing the T's and doing the job that has to be done with the pitchers or position pitchers. It's an unbelievably important time for all the scouts to go out and find these guys we are getting back in trades and also in the Draft.

"We can't miss. We don't want to miss. You look at all the teams that are winning and have won, whether it be the Cubs or the Indians or the Nationals or Houston or Tampa … they lost for a long time.

"To their credit, they got all the best picks, and they didn't miss on them," Cooper said. "They made some trades and didn't miss on them. They added the free agents. The Cubs added five free agents, and oh by the way we can pick up [Aroldis] Chapman at the Deadline. Before you know it, they are up and running. Hopefully it's the same path we are on."

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