Melky: White Sox close to contending
Outfielder enjoys first season on South Side despite club falling short
CHICAGO -- Melky Cabrera agreed to a three-year, $42 million deal with the White Sox in the offseason under the anticipated premise that he would be playing for a playoff contender.
That part of the equation hasn't panned out for the veteran outfielder. But Cabrera doesn't think this incarnation of the White Sox stands too far away from becoming a future playoff possibility.
"Absolutely I think that we have very good players here with talent enough to compete and perform well on the field," Cabrera told MLB.com through interpreter and White Sox Spanish-language broadcaster Billy Russo. "But at the end of the day, it's their call, the front office's call. We have to play and execute.
"We were very inconsistent as a team. Sometimes the offense wasn't there. Sometimes it was the pitching staff. If you can't combine the two aspects the whole season, it's going to be tough for you to reach the playoffs. That's what is happening to us. That's what a good team does. They are very consistent, and that's going to give you the opportunity to win games. We didn't do that this year and that's why we are out of contention."
Going 2-for-3 with an RBI single in Thursday's 4-2 loss, Cabrera is hitting .276 with 10 homers and 71 RBIs. His overall 2015 numbers won't finish up too far below his career season averages of .285, 12 and 71, per Baseball Reference.
A slow start for the switch-hitting Cabrera, where he batted .220 in May and struggled mightily from the right side, was joined by other slow starts from teammates such as Adam Eaton and Adam LaRoche, to name a few, contributing to the team's offensive issues.
In looking at this team, it's hard to imagine all of those same slow starts plaguing the team in 2016 if the team is kept somewhat together.
"Those extremely slow starts, you're not going to count on those happening again," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You look at really their body of work and what you expect of that and that's really more of a barometer of where they're going to be in a normal year.
"Some years guys do start out cold like that and some years they start out red-hot. Some years are different where you can't necessarily pencil in a guy that is going to start out cold."
While the on-field results didn't match Cabrera's offseason thoughts, the off-the-field dynamic easily met his first-year hopes.
"Yes, I found what I expected here," Cabrera said. "I think that Robin is a great manager. I like to play for him. We have the core players that we can compete in the future.
"I hoped that we can compete this year, and we tried. But the season wasn't good for us. That's just baseball. I definitely enjoyed my first year here with the team and with the guys. A lot of very good personalities."