The Chicago White Sox have had a better May than April.
“But then again, it’s tough to get much worse than April,” general manager Rick Hahn said Monday.
The Sox went 8-21 in March and April and failed to win a series.
They are 15-13 in May after Tuesday’s 7-3 victory against the Los Angeles Angels at Guaranteed Rate Field. They’ve won five series but remain 11 games under .500 (23-34).
The team knows improvements are needed if it wants to dig out of the big hole.
“We are not, obviously, hitting on all cylinders or playing at a level we’re capable of playing as a group,” Hahn said. “It’s good that we are getting healthier, but the fact of the matter is the performance over the coming weeks needs to continue to trend upward, regardless of whether we’re five, six, seven back (in the division), whatever the number is on a given day.
“We certainly had some stretches where we were winning series over the course of the last month that had our performances trending in the right direction. But we still have a lot of work to do and we know that. We’re not playing at the level we’re capable of just yet.”
The Sox are searching for consistency on offense. The last series against the Detroit Tigers served as an example. They had 17 hits in Friday’s 12-3 victory. But they had four hits both the day before in a 7-2 loss and the day after in a 7-3 loss.
The Sox were 25th in the majors in May with a .690 OPS entering Tuesday. Conversely, the pitching ranked seventh with a 3.70 ERA this month.
“Some nights we’re hitting and not pitching and other nights pitching and not hitting,” Hahn said. “We haven’t shown the offensive profile this team is capable of. The stretches of solid defense and solid starting pitching and relief work is more consistent with who we think we are, but only in a couple weeks of an eight-week season. We need to see more.”
Despite being double-digit games under .500, the Sox are only six games out of first place in the American League Central.
“The frustration we all felt in April, we haven’t rinsed ourselves of it,” Hahn said. “We know this team is capable of performing at a level we saw glimpses (of) over the last four weeks. But not enough. That’s what we’re looking for. It’s trending better toward the level we need.
“The first two months have not been up to the level that we wanted it to be. We get that. It’s not acceptable. Could that one day lead to changes over the course of the season? Absolutely.
“But for now, this is a group that is now hopefully coming together as a full unit, and we’ll see how it performs over the next several weeks before we have to make that decision.”
The lineup is nearing full strength. Eloy Jiménez homered and drove in four during his first two games back after missing most of the month following an appendectomy May 6 in Cincinnati. Infielder Elvis Andrus (strained left oblique) is on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte and could be back by this weekend’s series against the Tigers.
Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, on the IL with right wrist inflammation, is aiming to return Friday. And Garrett Crochet and Liam Hendriks are back in the bullpen. Hendriks made his incredible return Monday after battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“It was emotional to watch him come out with all the work that he’s put in and how he did it,” manager Pedro Grifol said before Tuesday’s game. “It was emotional to see his family up there and the way they reacted. It was just a good day. It needed to happen for the game, it needed to happen for him and his family.
“It feels really good to have our whole team back together for the first time. Now we’ve just got to put it all together and go play the baseball we’re capable of playing and live up to the expectations we have for us as a team. It’s time to prepare (and) go out there and win some games.”
Source: Berkshire mont