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posted: 5/5/2014 5:30 AM

So far, so good for White Sox

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  • In just over one short -- but utterly spectacular month -- White Sox rookie Jose Abreu has become a must-see player.

      In just over one short -- but utterly spectacular month -- White Sox rookie Jose Abreu has become a must-see player.
    Associated Press

 
By Chris Rongey
Special to the Daily Herald

As the first month of the season wrapped up, I put the following question to the fans:

Given everything we know about the 2014 White Sox, is a 14-15 record in April acceptable to you?

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When I talk about all the things we know about the this edition of the Sox, I don't mean just this year. I'm talking about the context of this season in relation to the past -- and also what's ahead.

My answer? I'm OK with what we've seen so far.

As everyone is aware, 2013 was about as bad of a baseball year as we've ever seen on the South Side. In fact, many fans probably don't even remember one as awful as that was. In fact, you'd have to go back to 1976 to find a comparably bad season. That year, the White Sox lost 97 times.

And because the writing was on the wall by midseason, the trading away of veterans like Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Matt Thornton, and Jesse Crain led to an off-season of further acquisition of young, inexperienced players. We knew going into this year that it would be a developmental season, while hoping that maybe, just maybe, things would fall into place quickly and lead to a real run at the division.

But realistically, we knew what to expect.

Now, add to the equation the amount of players and time lost to the disabled list in just a little over a month. Avi Garcia is done for the year. Staff ace Chris Sale has missed several starts. The White Sox' best reliever, Nate Jones, has pitched in just two games and won't be back for at least another month. Adam Eaton, Conor Gillaspie, and Jeff Keppinger are all currently on the DL. The White Sox have already used 19 pitchers and we're barely into May.

The White Sox have been beaten up since the start.

With all that information, it seems only logical to conclude that a record of around .500 through a sixth of the season would be a decent start. Again, that's given everything we know. Obviously, as a fan, you want your team to be better than this. But as a listener said to me, you can't fix everything at once, and the White Sox have done an admirable job in taking a good first step in the right direction.

For as far as they had to climb to distance themselves from 2013, and with as many significant injuries as they've sustained this early, it would be idealistic to anticipate anything else.

I fear those casualties will catch up to them this year, but for now they're treading water. It's hard to ask them for more at this point.

One last thing. Last week, I wrote that Jose Abreu's at-bats shouldn't be missed. As I sat at the station watching Sunday's game, a coworker who had just arrived at work stopped in and asked how the White Sox got their lone run (at the time). I told him Abreu homered. He said, "Of course."

Abreu has already conditioned us to expect great things from him, and there's something comforting in that.

• Chris Rongey is the host of the White Sox pregame and postgame shows on WSCR 670-AM The Score. Follow him on Twitter@ChrisRongey and at chrisrongey.com.

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