3 numbers that stand out during Chicago White Sox’s rough start to the season: ‘Obviously we have to make adjustments’

At the plate and on the mound, the numbers reflect the Chicago White Sox’ rough start to the season.

Offensively, the Sox ranked 23rd in the majors with a .678 OPS entering Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre.

The pitching staff had the third-highest ERA in the big leagues at 5.44.

These are just a few of the factors contributing to a 7-16 start.

Manager Pedro Grifol is focused on adjustments.

“I don’t see our season being over by any means,” Grifol said before Tuesday’s game after hearing the teams had similar stretches at various times last season and made the postseason. “Every team goes through that. But obviously we have to make adjustments.

“We can’t hide the fact that we have to make adjustments on the set, as a team and as a staff. We have to be better. But as far as 7-16 and panicking…we’re not feeling it. We’re going to have our stretches where we’re really, really good, and we’ve got to take advantage of those stretches and expand on them.”

Third baseman Jake Burger said the clubhouse leaders and coaching staff have the right mindset to help guide the way during this time.

“You’re going to have some bad streaks and some really good streaks and everything in between,” Burger told the Tribune on Tuesday. “As long as you take care of your business every day, the results will get there.”

Here are three numbers that stand out during the fights.

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The question was about Luis Robert Jr., who struck out three times in four plate appearances Monday.

But the answer was universal for the Sox offense at this point.

“We have to shrink the strike zone,” Grifol said after the 5-2 defeat. “If you get out of the strike zone, they’re going to keep throwing it in there.”

The team’s O-Swing% is 37.3% according to Fangraphs, the largest of the majors. The Detroit Tigers are next at 36.8%.

The Sox had slashed .191/.253/.323 with 44 runs in their last 14 games before Tuesday. They hit .229 with runners in scoring position during the stretch and scored three runs or fewer nine times in that span.

Burger said a key for hitters in limiting the chase is to stick with their approach.

“You can’t control how the umpire calls the game that day or how the pitcher hits you,” he said. “You can’t get away from your approach when you get in the box.

“I’ve done that time and time again when you let other factors control the game rather than you. And if the pitcher throws three good pitches, you have to tip your cap there. Most of the time, especially for me, you give them an extra hit by extension and it goes from 2-1 to 1-2 and he’s got some pitches to play with.”


Walks were the major topic of discussion after Monday’s game, with the Sox surrendering eight.

Starter Lance Lynn pointed to a two-out walk to Alejandro Kirk in the fourth inning as a highlight. The Blue Jays went on to score four in the inning.

“Walking twice, pretty much, gave up four because of it,” Lynn said.

The Sox allowed 105 walks entering Tuesday, second-most in the majors.

Grifol said the team’s goals of throwing a strike for at least two of the first three pitches at bat “were actually OK.”

“But obviously the walks are a very important part of the game and they’re hidden,” Grifol said. “On the offensive side, if you’re walking around, you’re probably going to put up some crooked numbers at some point.”


According to the Sox, the projected lineup has only started together twice this season — April 2 at Houston and the April 3 home opener against the San Francisco Giants.

Injuries were a factor, with shortstop Tim Anderson (sprained left knee) and third baseman Yoán Moncada (back soreness) on the injured list.

Grifol said Anderson, who last played on April 10, “is doing really well.”

“He ran (Monday), he ran (Tuesday),” Grifol said. “He’s in a good place. He should be out (on a rehab assignment) here pretty soon.”

Grifol said Moncada, who last pitched on April 9 and entered the IL on April 14, is “feeling a lot better.”

As for a timetable, Grifol said: “It’s behind so you have to pay attention to it. It depends on the symptoms. In the last two days he has made significant improvements.”

The Sox know improvement is needed in many departments to avoid falling into a deeper hole.

“We just have to get better,” Grifol said. “As a staff, as a group, we’ve just got to get better and find ways to win baseball games.”


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