White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito

Peter Aiken/USA Today Sports

Sox 3 Up, 3 Down: Giolito's Dominance Continues

Giolito has been the top pitcher in the American League, per FanGraphs.

Chris Emma
June 10, 2019 - 11:15 am
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(670 The Score) The White Sox took two out of three from Royals in Kansas City this weekend, a series victory that was led by some of their young talents.

Here are the latest trends surrounding the White Sox.

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THREE UP

1.) AL-leading arm

The best pitcher in the American League is White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito, if you use FanGraphs' pitching WAR statistic. After his latest gem -- working 7 2/3 shutout inning and striking out 11 Royals on Saturday -- Giolito has an AL-best 3.0 WAR among pitchers.

Giolito is second to only Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer in pitching WAR among all MLB pitchers. Giolito has now earned the victory in seven straight outings, a run in which he owns an 0.88 ERA. He's 9-1 with a 2.28 ERA (2.47 FIP) for the season.

2.) Eloy bomb

White Sox rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez hit ball to new reaches of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon, squaring it into a fold of the center-field batter's eye.

Jimenez's eighth of the season came in the second inning off Royals right-hander Glenn Sparkman. It traveled 471 feet and had an exit velocity of 111.6 miles per hour and a launch angle of 24 degrees.

3.) Marshall & Bummer

Improvements from the White Sox's bullpen have come from an unlikely source this season. Two of the team's best relievers to this point have been right-hander Evan Marshall and left-hander Aaron Bummer.

Marshall has worked 14 shutout innings since being added to the MLB roster on May 1. He has allowed only eight hits and three walks in that span. Meanwhile, Bummer has surrendered just one run over 18 1/3 innings of work, with just six hits and five walks allowed.

THREE DOWN

1.) Powering down

White Sox slugger Jose Abreu 16 homers, which puts him in good company tied for 17th in MLB. But the overall numbers for the 32-year-old Abreu have dipped in his contract season.

Abreu has posted a .329 weighted on-base percentage and 108 weighted-runs-created-plus, with both figures down from 2018. It has continued a decline in production since 2017, when Abreu posted a slash line of .304/.354/.552, a .377 wOBA and 139 wRC+.    

2.) Injuries starting to add up

Add right-hander Dylan Covey to the long list of White Sox starters to be shut down with an injury, as right shoulder inflammation has sidelined him. Covey, 27, was 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA in nine appearances.

In his place, the White Sox will call upon 32-year-old Odrisamer Despaigne to start against the Nationals at Guaranteed Rate Field on Monday night. He's 13-24 with a 4.91 ERA over parts of five MLB seasons.

3.) Seventh what?

Why is White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and his .360 wOBA hitting seventh in the team's batting order? It has been because manager Rick Renteria likes the comfort that Anderson has established in that slot and wants Eloy Jimenez hitting sixth -- which slides utilityman Jose Rondon to the fifth spot. Renteria explained his thinking to the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

"Timmy has been pretty good in the seventh hole," he said. "That’s where (Rondon) slots for me to allow the rest of the guys to fit where I think they should be. And (Rondon) can handle this slot because of his experience."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.