White Sox Not Making Grade At Midway Point

The White Sox are 33-62 at the All-Star break.

Bruce Levine
July 15, 2018 - 8:12 pm
White Sox manager Rick Renteria

Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- The first half ended for the White Sox with a nice blowout win for the team. 

Prized right-hander Lucas Giolito threw 6 1/3 shutout innings and second baseman Yoan Moncada had three hits, including his 12th home run of the season, as the White Sox routed the Kansas City Royals, 10-1, at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday. Those were important building-block moments for a team on the come.

Baby steps are all good news for a club that has won just 33 of 95 games. After winning two out of three games from the struggling Royals, White Sox manager Rick Renteria was asked to assess his team with a grade. He had a hard-but-fair response for the young team. 

"It's a great question and a fair one," Renteria said." Right now I think the grade would be a D. There are things that we need to improve upon. That goes without saying. I would say the effort level is a B+ to an A. I also think it would be fair to say we will continue to try and improve on all of those aspects of the game.

"I believe pitching and defense will be the solidifying force for any ballclub. I know statistics and slugging percentage is stressed right now. We also know that good pitching and defense can stifle all of that. I could be wrong, but I believe in the postseason, good pitching and defense keeps you there."

When asked what grade he would give himself, Renteria deferred.

"I would not give myself a good grade," Renteria said. "I will not talk about myself. That is for all of (the media) and everybody else."

The White Sox won seven of their last 11 games at home before the break. That alone is encouraging for the youthful mix of the evolving clubhouse. Still, the team is 33-62 at the break.

"It wasn't a very good first half as far as wins and losses go," said Moncada, who's hitting .356 over his last 12 games. "I think it's a part of the process. We have improved. We have learned a lot in the first half. The second half, we should be much better."

The White Sox have the third-worst record in baseball, just ahead of the Royals and Baltimore Orioles. The improvement of the pitching staff with a healthy Carlos Rodon and more big league outings for Dylan Covey, Reynaldo Lopez and Giolito bode well for a better product on the field and more belief in the rebuild going forward.

"I see my teammates hustling to balls put in play and making great efforts -- that just gives me more confidence to keep doing what I am doing," Giolito said after earning his sixth win. "Today was a day we put it all together, and I am looking forward to more of those."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.​