This Week in White Sox Baseball: May 18-24

Week 7 Record: 4-3 (15-32 Overall), 5th in AL Central

Well, we got a winning week! This week was packed with great action – and some not so great action too – so let’s take a look at the last week of games.

Game 41: Fulmer struggles again as White Sox (11-30) drop Game 2 to Texas

Carson Fulmer struggled early in this game, giving up 8 runs on just three hits. He walked five while striking out two. It looked as if the White Sox would be able to keep it close early, but Shin-Soo Choo delivered a 2-out, 2-strike grand slam against Chris Volstad in the 3rd inning that put away the Sox for good. Carson Fulmer was sent to AAA after the game. Jose Abreu was 2-4 in the contest.

W: Jesse Chavez (2-0) L: Carson Fulmer (2-4)

Game 42: White Sox (12-30) ride four-run 3rd all the way to their 12th win

After Nicky Delmonico suffered a broken hand on Friday, Daniel Palka began what appears to be a long stint of starting action. He delivered a go-ahead two-run triple in the bottom of the third that was the difference in the game. Lucas Giolito threw the ball well, giving up 2 ER on 4 hits in 6 innings of work. Jose Abreu continued his hot streak, going 3-3 in the contest.

W: Lucas Giolito (3-4) L: Ariel Jurado (0-1) S: Nate Jones (3)

Game 43: Lopez brilliant as Sox (13-30) take the series form the Rangers

This game was all about Reynaldo Lopez, who was dominant from the start. He earned his first win of the season, giving up zero runs on just two hits over eight innings, walking two and striking out eight. After contemplating pulling Lopez in the eighth with two outs, Ricky Renteria instead let the young man strike out Shin-Soo Choo for the final out of the inning. Welington Castillo was 2-3 with a homer in the contest.

W: Reynaldo Lopez (1-3) L: Mike Minor (3-3) S: Jace Fry (1)

Game 44: Cashner silences bats as Sox (13-31) drop Game 1 to Baltimore

The White Sox faithful welcomed Manny Machado to the South Side on Monday, and he responded by homering in the game. Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo followed suit, and their three runs were enough for the victory in this one, as Andrew Cashner threw five innings, giving up just two runs. Jose Abreu was 2-4 in the contest, while Matt Davidson and Leury Garcia also turned in two hits each in the loss.

W: Andrew Cashner (2-4) L: Hector Santiago (0-2) S: Brad Bach (7)

Game 45: White Sox (14-31) rally in 8th, score 3 unanswered to win 3-2

After failing to score through 7 innings, the White Sox were six outs away from dropping their second straight game to the Orioles. However, Ricky’s Boys did not quit in this one, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by Yolmer Sanchez’s RBI single to right. James Shields had another spectacular outing, going seven innings and giving up just two runs, striking out five in the effort. Once again, Jose Abreu continued his hot stretch, going 2-5 in the game.

W: Bruce Rondon (2-2) L: Mychal Givens (0-1) S: Nate Jones (4)

Game 46: White Sox’ (15-31) bats explode in 11-1 win

The White Sox’ bats came out in full force to celebrate the SoxOn35th tailgate, scoring 11 unanswered runs after falling behind 1-0 in the second. Among the highlights were Adam Engel’s 4-4 night, Yoan Moncada’s three-run homer to center to open the scoring, and Dylan Covey’s spectacular outing of seven innings (1 ER, 8K). Jose Abreu was also 2-5 in the game, and the White Sox’ offense tallied 12 hits. However, Leury Garcia left the game with a left knee sprain. Charlie Tilson was called up after the game to take his place on the roster. It was also announced that Welingston Castillo would be suspended for 80 games for violating MLB’s drug policy.

W: Dylan Covey (1-1) L: Alex Cobb (1-6)

Game 47: Giolito struggles early and often as Sox (15-32) split series with Orioles

After a good start earlier in the week, Giolito did not have his best stuff in this game, going just 1.1 innings and giving up seven runs and two home runs. On the other side of the ball, Dylan Bundy absolutely dominated, throwing a complete game while striking out 14 batters in the process. Jose Rondon homered for the second consecutive game, and it was announced that Alfredo Gonzalez would be called up for AAA to take Welington Castillo’s spot on the roster. He will assume backup duties while Omar Narvaez takes over the starting role.

W: Dylan Bundy (3-6) L: Lucas Giolito (3-5)

 

Quote of the Week: Welington Castillo on his failed drug test

I was recently notified by Major League Baseball that I had tested positive for EPO, a substance that is prohibited under MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement,” said Castillo via statement. “The positive test resulted from an extremely poor decision that I, and I alone, made. I take full responsibility for my conduct. I have let many people down, including my family, my teammates, the White Sox organization and its fans, and from my heart, I apologize. Following my suspension, I look forward to rejoining my teammates and doing whatever I can to help the White Sox win.”

– ESPN.com

Alright, he owned up to it, which is a lot more than most PED users do. I don’t think any of us is going to pretend this isn’t a widespread issue in the game, nor am I going to pretend that I’m okay with the use. The most important part, in my opinion, is that he owned up to it. I’m still interested in seeing how he performs when he comes back.

 

Overreaction of the Week: Carson Fulmer is a bust

If you don’t already know, Carson Fulmer was sent down to AAA Charlotte after his rough start on Friday. He has struggled as a starter throughout the start to the season, albeit with flashes of brilliance. This has prompted some more fans to join the ever-louder voices that proclaim Carson Fulmer a “bust”.

MAYBE I can understand why you think he is a bust. He was drafted with the intention of being a starting pitcher, and unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more likely that this will not be the case. He has struggled with his mechanics since he’s been changing them throughout the organization, and he doesn’t look like the same pitcher from Vanderbilt. At best, he’s a late-inning guy, and to many of you, he seems to be a bust – especially since his teammate Walker Buehler was drafted by the Dodgers later in the first round, and we see how that is going for them.

However, consider what the rest of that draft looked like. Fulmer is one of six players from the first round of the draft to currently be in the majors. It is still too early to write off anyone from that draft as a “bust”. Also, consider this: Andrew Miller, Zach Britton, Wade Davis, and Dellin Betances are all examples of failed starters. The difference is that they became absolutely shut down relievers. Now, not every failed started becomes a successful reliever, but because Fulmer has struggled so much with mechanics, I feel it’s time to let him go back to makes him feel most comfortable, and prepare him to be a late multi-inning guy. It was worth leaving him in the rotation for the time being, because there was no one else better to take the spot. However, with Jordan Stephens dominating, and Carlos Rodon on his way back from arthroscopic surgery (through he did leave the game yesterday as a precautionary measure after being hit in the head – he jumped right up however), it was clear his days in the rotation were numbered.

So, let him go back to the max-effort delivery and high-intensity guy he was in college. Let him work his way in the minors and get back to the player he had to be to get him to this point in his career in the first place. Look at the video below, he didn’t get here by accident. With the change in the mindset this team has had from 2015 to now, there is no risk in letting Fulmer go back to his max-effort mechanics if he wants to. It’s up to him to make the changes, but declaring him a bust this early on is a premature statement. Remember our podcast…. Patience.

(Credits: JustBombsProductions)

 

Stat of the Week: Jace Fry’s Dominance

With someone throwing so well, you might even say he should be *starting* games instead of pitching late in them, like I did here….  Just a suggestion!

 

Player/Moment of the Week

Thanks to all you who voted! Despite another strong week from the always reliable Jose Abreu (11-29, 1 HR, 6 RBI), the fans have spoken: Reynaldo Lopez stole the show on Sunday, throwing EIGHT innings of shutout baseball against the Rangers. My favorite moment of the game was Ricky leaving Lopez in to get the last out of the eighth… pitchers will feed off of that sort of confidence from their manager. Congrats Reynaldo!

 

Weekend Preview: Three Game set against the Tigers

Today: Reynaldo Lopez (1-3, 2.98 ERA) vs. Mike Fiers (4-3, 4.57 ERA), 6:10 CT

Saturday: Hector Santiago (0-2, 5.17 ERA) vs. Francisco Liriano (3-1, 3.42 ERA), 3:10 CT

Sunday: James Shields (1-4, 4.62 ERA) vs. Blaine Hardy (0-0, 3.46 ERA), 12:10 CT

 

Some Words of Thanks

Instead of doing Bold Predictions this week, I wanted to spend a little time thanking our fans. We were able to have our first SoxOn35th tailgate and outing at the ballpark, and it was incredible to see people coming out for the event. What we get to do on this page is a ton of fun, but it makes it all the more rewarding when we get the chance to talk baseball with some of the best baseball and White Sox fans. Thanks for making what we do such a treat, and we all hope to see you at the ballpark sometime this year. Always feel free to come say hi and just talk baseball!

See you next Friday, White Sox fans!

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