The White Sox have gotten really hot lately and that streak has them in first place in the A.L. Central with a 49-38 record as they are 1/2 a game ahead of the Tigers and 3 1/2 games ahead of the Twins. Despite the Pale Hose’ recent hot streak everything has not been a Bed of Roses in 2010. Here is a look at the surprises and disappointments so far this season:
Pleasant Surprises: 29-year old Alex Rios was awful for the White Sox last season after they claimed him off waivers. But this season Rios has been the player the Pale Hose thought they were getting last year. Rios has played in 82 games for the White Sox this year and he is 95 of 311 (.305 avg, .878 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 15 homers, 49 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. 35-year old righty starting pitcher Freddy Garcia missed most of the 2008 and 2009 seasons so the White Sox weren’t expecting much out of him in 2010. He has started 16 games for the White Sox this year and he is 9-3 with a 4.36 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. The White Sox hope that Garcia’s second half looks like his first half. 33-year old righty reliever J.J. Putz was lost and banged up as a New York Met in 2009. The White Sox snapped him up as a free agent over the winter and he is looking better than ever. Putz has pitched in 33 games (0 starts) for the White Sox this year and he is 5-2 with 2 saves, a 1.59 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP. He has only given up 19 hits and walked 6 batters in 34 innings while whiffing 40 batters showing just how nasty he has been. 26-year old righty reliever Sergio Santos was playing shortstop until 2009 when he started pitching in the minors. He was a long shot this spring to get a look from the Pale Hose but he made the pitching staff this spring. Santos has pitched in 32 games (0 starts) for the White Sox this year and he is 0-0 with 1 save, a 1.93 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP.
Disappointments: 23-year old 2B Gordon Beckham burst onto the scene last season as a rookie and the forecast for 2010 was that he would improve. Those forecasts have been proven to be way off as Beckham could find himself back in the minors if he doesn’t start to turn things around soon. Beckham has played in 77 games for the White Sox this year and he is 59 of 273 (.216 avg, .581 OPS) with 35 runs scored, 3 homers, 22 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. 33-year old catcher A.J. Pierzynski is not hitting up to his ability so far this season. He has played in 73 games for the White Sox this year and he is 65 of 263 (.247 avg, .664 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 6 homers and 25 RBIs. When the White Sox traded for 32-year old LF Juan Pierre they expected him to hit around .300, score around 100 runs and steal 50 bases. He has not played up to those expectations this year. Pierre has played in 86 games for the White Sox this year and he is 87 of 339 (.257 avg, .615 OPS) with 46 runs scored, 0 homers, 14 RBIs and 32 stolen bases.