It looks like something special's brewing on the South Side this season.
True, the season is only 11 games in. True, a key hitter, Avisail Garcia, is out for the year with a shoulder injury. True, the White Sox are off to a lousy start at the gate.
But on the field, this team is actually fun to watch. Specifically, take a look at what the offense is doing.
"These guys, they just kind of have some jump when they come out," manager Robin Ventura said after the Sox beat the Indians 9-6 Friday night in front of 13,605 at U.S. Cellular Field. "They just feel like they're going to score. With the way the game was going, Saler (starting pitcher Chris Sale) probably earned one of these after last year. But offensively, we just feel like we're going to get a chance."
The early offensive numbers have been eye-popping, especially considering the White Sox scored the fewest runs in the American League last year.
So far this season, they rank at or near the top of major-league baseball with 70 runs scored, a .290 team batting average, 15 home runs, a .360 on-base percentage and an .828 OPS.
In the Sox' second straight win over Cleveland, third baseman Conor Gillaspie was 2-for-3 with 4 RBI and Adam Eaton was 2-for-3 with 2 walks, 3 runs and 1 RBI.
"The feel for this year is completely different," Sale (3-0) said after laboring through 5 innings. "We're battling, we're fighting. For me I know I have a very biased opinion, but I think Adam Eaton is the most exciting player in baseball in terms of every time he gets up to the plate, something is going to happen whether it's a close play, a bunt single, a double in the gap or a stolen base. He has never once taken a second off, taken a step back."
Eaton has given the White Sox a spark out of the leadoff spot they've been missing for years.
"You know, it's just compete," Eaton said after raising his average to .333. "If you compete every pitch, it doesn't matter what the score is, you go out with your best effort and you compete, good things are going to happen."
When the Sox acquired third baseman Matt Davidson from the Diamondbacks in a trade for closer Addison Reed, Gillaspie had to fight to keep his job.
So far, he is holding on tight, and Gillaspie is now batting .343 with 4 doubles and 8 RBI.
"He just has a real simple approach," Ventura said. "You look at anybody in our lineup, if somebody's going to put the barrel on the ball it's going to be Conor. He had some of that last year, but confidence-wise he wasn't as confident last year as he is this year."