Lucas Giolito Has Plenty To Prove In 2019

Giolito struggled mightily in 2018, posting a 6.13 ERA in 32 starts.

Bruce Levine
March 22, 2019 - 2:30 pm
White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito

Patrick Gorski/USA Today Sports

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (670 The Score) -- A spring training from Hades would be a fair way to describe White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito's performance in the Cactus League. 

In 18 1/3 innings, Giolito has been tagged for 18 earned runs, adding up to an 8.84 ERA. His WHIP sits at 1.91. Coming off of his first full season in the big leagues, Giolito has been pleased with the work but certainly not the results.

"The results have not been what I wanted," Giolito said. "I have been hit around way more than I would like to see. The good part is this is the best I have felt throwing a baseball since I was 19 years old."

Despite the poor numbers, Giolito and the White Sox still see improvement in his stuff and confidence.

"I have my velocity (94-96 mph) back up," he said. "I have my pitches moving the way we want them to move. I am commanding better despite getting hit around a bit. The key for me is making better quality pitches late in the count."

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Giolito's results continue the trend of 2018, when he posted a 6.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 32 starts. He led the American League in walks, wild pitches and earned runs allowed.

Giolito, 24, admitted that the frustration of failure was something he needed help with from the team's mental skills department.

"I really had a lot of frustrating outings last year," he said. "I had trouble giving up early runs, not making it past the first or second inning. I was taught that there are only a certain amount of things that you control. Once you release the ball, that is it. I am more into the focus of each pitch I throw and expecting the best I can -- stay in the moment and not worrying about the big picture."

Giolito is likely to land as the White Sox's No. 4 starter to open the season. Manager Rick Renteria is expected to officially announce the rotation order Saturday. Left-hander Carlos Rodon will start at Kansas City on Opening Day next Thursday.

Giolito is trying to looking to make progress in what could be a prove-it season for him.

"We are looking for command of the fastball from Lucas," Renteria said. "It is just a fact for him to get ahead of the hitters and being able to put them away. He has to trust his stuff. We see his delivery has been cleaned up. We see the velocity is up and the breaking ball is sharper. We just want him to leave here feeling really good about himself and being able to be more consistent as he gets out into the regular season."

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