Gregor: Are changes coming for Chicago White Sox?

On June 5, the White Sox returned home from an 11-game road trip with a 24-28 record, and general manager Rick Hahn insisted the "arrow was pointing up."

On the flip side, Hahn said he was disappointed with the Sox' shoddy play, adding, "Let's see what the next 30 days have to hold for us because right now we feel guys are starting to come around. If we are still sputtering around, as we don't expect to be, then maybe start looking a little closer at different contingencies or you start being a little more stunned at where the team sits at that point."

The Sox still have about three weeks before Hahn takes a closer look, and heading into Monday night's game at Pittsburgh, they were 4-5 since the GM issued a very soft ultimatum.

Outside of a six-game winning streak in May that got the White Sox (18-17) over the .500 mark for the only time this season, the arrow has been pointing decidedly down on this team.

If the trend continues and Hahn decides to start making changes next month, keep an eye on these five players:

Jeff Samardzija

I thought this was Hahn's best move of the off-season.

The Sox had to send four players to Oakland to acquire Samardzija in a Dec. 9 trade, but the right-handed starter seemed to be the perfect fit to pitch between lefties Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.

Samardzija has been brilliant at times, particularly over a stretch of 3 starts in May when he pitched 23 innings and allowed 5 earned runs, but his overall showing has been poor.

Through 13 starts, Samardzija is 4-4 with a 4.84 ERA, he leads the majors with 18 earned runs allowed in the first inning, and the 30-year-old pitcher ranks among American League leaders with 11 home runs allowed.

Eligible for free agency at the end of the season, the thinking all along was a motivated Samardzija would pitch well this year and sign a contract extension with the White Sox.

Barring a sudden surge by Samardzija and the Sox, he could traded before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline.

Tyler Flowers

Disgruntled White Sox fans seem to enjoy dumping their frustrations into my inbox, and Flowers' name is frequently in the subject field.

It's understandable, considering Flowers had a .205/.245/.318 hitting line heading into Monday's game against the Pirates.

Flowers also struck out 46 times in 132 at-bats, ranked second among AL catchers with 5 passed balls and threw out two - yes, two - of 30 attempted basestealers.

He is a solid, standup guy, but major-league baseball is all about performance. A change is obviously needed.

Third base

Conor Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham have split time here, with little overall success.

The left-handed hitting Gillaspie only starts against right-handers, and Beckham, a standout defender, was in a 1-for-24 slide heading into Monday.

This would have been a good time to take a look at Class AAA Charlotte third baseman Matt Davidson, who was acquired from Arizona before the 2014 season in a straight-up trade for closer Addison Reed.

Davidson is tied for the International League lead with 10 home runs and is second with 36 RBI, but he is still hitting for a low average (.223) while striking out at an alarming rate (87 in 233 at-bats).

Carlos Sanchez

As expected, he is a defensive upgrade over Micah Johnson, who opened the season as the Sox' starting second baseman before being optioned to Charlotte on May 14.

Bur Sanchez is giving one of baseball's worst offenses very little help with the bat. Heading into Monday, his hitting line was an abysmal .153/.215/.188.

It is clearly time to give Johnson, who is batting .330 at Charlotte, another chance.

Alexei Ramirez

He always has been a streaky player, but it has been pretty much all bad this season.

Ramirez isn't hitting or fielding, and he's an obvious trade candidate for teams looking at his overall track record.

The White Sox' problem? Who plays short if Ramirez goes?

Beckham? Sanchez? Tyler Saladino?

Tim Anderson, the shortstop of the future, is at Class AA Birmingham and needs at least another year in the minor leagues.

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