One night after pounding the Tigers 11-4 in what was easily their most impressive win of the season, the White Sox followed up with an 8-5 loss at Detroit on Wednesday.
Now, for the important stuff.
Before the first pitch at Comerica Park, general manager Rick Hahn spoke for a few minutes with the four beat writers covering the Sox on the road.
Much like his June 30 media session at U.S. Cellular Field, Hahn declined to talk about all of the trade rumors making the rounds.
Given this is his first season as GM after serving as Kenny Williams’ assistant the past dozen years, Hahn has no track record when it comes to the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
And, given his understandable desire to keep dealings with other major-league clubs quiet, it’s been kind of a wait-and-see stretch for a disappointing White Sox team that occupies last place in the American League Central with a 35-53 record.
Hahn may very well be heading for dump mode, but in his talk with Chicago reporters Wednesday, it appears safe to assume starting pitchers Chris Sale, John Danks, Jose Quintana, Hector Santiago and possibly Jake Peavy are staying put this season and beyond. Ditto for closer Addison Reed and setup reliever Nate Jones.
“If you look at who we have under control right now going forward on the pitching staff, you see Chris Sale, and Jake is signed for next year,” Hahn said. “You’ll have John Danks even further away from surgery, which traditionally once a pitcher comes off of shoulder surgery, 18 months out is usually when they get back to full strength, which would put John closer to Opening Day next year even though he has performed great so far.
“Jose Quintana is blossoming into fulfilling a lot of his potential. And there are guys in the system, and Santiago and (Dylan) Axelrod have done a nice job, and there other guys coming who can round out a pretty solid starting rotation.”
One of the “other guys” is very likely Class AAA Charlotte starter Erik Johnson, who is currently on the disabled list with a groin strain.
The Sox’ second-round draft pick in 2011 out of Cal-Berkeley, Johnson was 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA at AA Birmingham this season before being promoted to Charlotte, where he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 3 starts.
The White Sox have scored 15 runs in their first two games at Detroit, but the offense is still last in the AL in runs scored (330) and walks (210) and near the bottom in batting average (.248).
“We do feel that you have to start with the pitching,” Hahn said. “You are going to compete in this league with the pitching, and we do feel we have the nucleus under control for a while going forward that is going to help us compete. The bulk of our struggles this year have been on the offensive side. That’s something we are going to have to improve.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.