Chicago White Sox

MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

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MLB Power Rankings: Week 6

Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 MLB teams.

Take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.

Previous rankings: Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Is Josh Hamilton even from this planet?
JJ: Josh Hamilton's on pace for, like, infinity home runs.
2 Tony: Is Carlos Beltran even from this planet?
JJ: Berkman's return only makes them stronger.
3
Tony: I give them the top spot and they go 2-4? Jerks.
JJ: Braves doing well, Barves not so much.
4
Tony: Sweep of the Cards has me convinced.
JJ: Only MLB team to have a staff FIP below 3.
5
Tony: Yes, they are for real.
JJ: Pitching good enough to sustain injury to Kemp?
6
Tony: Will injuries be their downfall?
JJ: Moore averaging 5 BB9. Yikes. 7
Tony: Season rides on Kemp's balky hammy.
JJ: This year's version of last year's Pirates? 8
Tony: Looks like Jeter wants himself another ring.
JJ: Jeter's offensive success might win him a Gold Glove.
9

Tony: Bautista starting to hit a bit more.
JJ: So close, yet so far in tough AL East.
10
Tony: Still leading the disappointing AL Central.
JJ: Stanton's walk-off slam was incredible.
11
Tony: Alright, they're starting to move up.
JJ: Ubaldo's issues are extremely concerning.
12
Tony: Offense has 'em here, will pitching take 'em further?
JJ: Chapman: 15.8 K9, 0.00 ERA.
13
Tony: Definitely didn't think they'd only be .500 by now.
JJ: Not too high on them, waiting for it to fall apart.
14
Tony: Propensity for drama, but still getting wins.
JJ: Playin' like a bunch of corncobs, you guys.
15
Tony: I don't understand. What are they doing with Belt?
JJ: What Tony said. What's up with Belt?
16
Tony: Gotta hand it to them, finding ways to win.
JJ: Juan Pierre leads them in OBP. Juan Pierre!
17
Tony: How are they losing so many Halladay games?
JJ: Concerns about Beckett's off-day are hilarious.
18

Tony: Trumbo's homering enough for both him and Pujols.
JJ: Tenuous success led by Josh Reddick, of all people.
19
Tony: Can they overcome rash of injuries?
JJ: Wilson getting played off 867-5309 was brilliance.
20
Tony: Hey, at least they had a 4-3 week.
JJ: Still an above .500 team by expected W-L.
21
Tony: If Sale's starting, that's a huge boost.
JJ: Haven't won any of their last six series.
22
Tony: Have four good SPs, if only they had a fifth.
JJ: Arguably one of MLB's biggest disappointments.
23
Tony: Not living up to expectations, that's for sure.
JJ: Dempster proving how irrelevant pitcher W-L records are.
24
Tony: the Cutch is starting to heat up for the Buccos.
JJ: Man, Hosmer's had some bad BABIP luck.
25
Tony: They need J.D. Martinez to produce.
JJ: Awful stretch of play threatens to bury them.
26
Tony: Coming off a simply horrible week of play.
JJ: Second-best ERA, worst offense in majors.
27
Tony: Hey, they won both Sox series this week.
JJ: Pitching has reverted to pre-2007 form. 28
Tony: If Montero starts to heat up, that'd be key.
JJ: Sad to say, but Ichiro's showing his age.
29

Tony: At least there's hope for the future.
JJ: Jeff Suppan has a 1.69 ERA in 3 starts. Jeff Suppan!
30

Tony: Remember when they used to be perennial contenders?
JJ: Bad offense, worse pitching, awful team right now.

Confidence continues to build after Lucas Giolito's latest strong start

Confidence continues to build after Lucas Giolito's latest strong start

Nothing is proven, Lucas Giolito will have to come back next season and show he can do this once again. But another huge development in the White Sox rebuild has been the continued development and success of Giolito late in the season.

The young White Sox pitcher added another outstanding performance to the ledger on Sunday afternoon.

Giolito pitched seven sharp innings and helped the White Sox officially avoid 100 losses in an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. He allowed a run and five hits with five strikeouts and no walks. It’s another step in a nice turnaround for Giolito, who struggled at Triple-A earlier in the year.

“I feel like this is where I can pitch,” Giolito said. “I can pitch deep into games. I wouldn't really say awestruck or anything like that. I’d say that there’s a lot of struggles there earlier this year. I worked through those … I feel like getting the confidence back up, it’s all I really needed to feel comfortable and be ready to go.”

Some of the metrics would suggest Giolito is in line for a dropoff. While his earned-run average is 2.38, his Fielding Independent Pitching is 4.94. His xFIP is a little lower at 4.42. But the elevated numbers are in part due to Giolito not missing as many bats and striking out 6.75 batters per nine innings.

But Giolito’s big-league numbers also come at a time in which he has never pitched more. He has pitched a combined 174 innings this season, which dwarfs his previous high of 136 2/3 innings in 2016.

Despite the workload, the right-hander continues to bring good stuff. He got seven swings and misses and 10 called strikes with his four-seam fastball, which averaged 92.3 mph, according to Baseball Savant.

“He's got angle, he's got height,” manager Rick Renteria said “He's got good angle so that creates, believe or not, some deception and he can ride it up out of the zone. And then he comes out from that angle with the breaking ball or his changeup. So the angle creates some pretty good deception.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Conditioned for success: Avisail Garcia vows to work even harder in offseason after breakout campaign]

Giolito has filled up the strikezone since he reached the majors partly because of belief in his stuff. He’s thrown strikes on 63.4 percent of his pitches and was even better Sunday with 65 of 98 offerings. The other part of it is trust in his defense, which made several spectacular plays behind him.

Giolito knows this is only the beginning. But he feels good after a stretch in which he has quality starts in five of six games. Over the stretch he has a 1.83 ERA and 25 hits allowed with 12 walks and 30 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.

“My confidence is there,” Giolito said. “I trust my stuff, I trust my pitches. There are things to work on, things I’m talking to (Don Cooper) about. There’s always stuff to improve, for sure. I’d say that just the confidence and everything is right where it needs to be so I’m going to continue to try and pitch like I am.”

Conditioned for success: Avisail Garcia vows to work even harder in offseason after breakout campaign

Conditioned for success: Avisail Garcia vows to work even harder in offseason after breakout campaign

When searching for why Avisail Garcia has had sustained success this season, you can’t overlook his fitter frame.

The White Sox outfielder entered a breakout 2017 season approximately 18 pounds lighter than he was a year ago. Garcia, who’s hitting .331, doubled, homered and drove in three runs as the White Sox topped the Kansas City Royals 8-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field on Sunday afternoon. Given the way he has performed this season, the first-time All-Star said he plans to work even harder this offseason.

“One hundred percent (better),” Garcia said. “I want to keep losing a little bit more. I want to feel way better next year.”

Garcia has provided the White Sox with a boatload of feel-good moments this season. He cut down two base runners in Friday night’s wild victory over the Royals, including on the final play of the game. Overall, Garcia has felt a difference in the field and it’s shown up in his defensive numbers. He headed into Sunday worth 2 Defensive Runs Saved after he finished the 2015 season at minus-11.

But even more of Garcia’s production has come at the plate, where he reached the 80-RBI mark on Sunday. He followed a one-out Yoan Moncada double off Ian Kennedy in the first inning with an opposite-field blast to right field, Garcia’s 18th homer.

Six innings later, Garcia doubled in a run. He’s hitting .331/.379/.504 on the season and entered Sunday worth 3.5 f-Wins Above Replacement.

“It seems likes he’s always finding barrel and like, man, that’s impressive to go up there, have disciplined at-bats and consistently get the barrel of the bat to the ball,” pitcher Lucas Giolito said.

Garcia’s play has offered him more encouragement to continue his efforts. Though he was adamant at the All-Star Game he wanted to duplicate his first-half efforts, Garcia suffered a series of injuries that bothered him throughout July. But he’s found comfort at the plate once again and knows how important a role his improved conditioning has played.

“The offseason, I have to do the same even harder,” Garcia said. “I want to do my best every year so now I have the ability to be here and trying to help my team. Just have to keep working.”