Rick Hahn doesn’t have a problem saying he’s dissatisfied with the way the White Sox have opened the 2013 season.
The offense has performed far below the team’s internal projections and the defense hasn’t lived up to the White Sox standards, either.
Although the White Sox general manager would love to seek a solution via trade for each and every one of the team’s foibles, Hahn knows to do such a thing after only 32 games would be to overreact and he hasn’t yet reached that point. Hahn also said he’s encouraged by the team’s performance on its just-completed 4-4 road trip through Texas, Kansas City and the New York, an excursion that saw them face four top-notch pitchers in Yu Darvish, James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie and Matt Harvey.
“You do have try to let things unfold and give guys the chance to show their true performance levels over an extended period of time,” Hahn said. “Obviously you don’t wait for that indefinitely and you don’t spend the whole summer just waiting around and hoping things are going to get better. But this early on there’s still the expectation guys are going to return to their previous norms.”
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To emphasize just how early it is in the season, Hahn drew a comparison with the Bears. He’s not happy the White Sox, who have been hit hard all over by injuries, are off to a slow start. But there’s a significant chunk of the schedule to go, he pointed out.
“Growing up a fan of the Bears, I’m certainly one who’d get upset after a 1-2 start,” Hahn said. “But you try not to overreact to three games out of a 16-game schedule and that’s essentially where we are in the baseball season, less than 20 percent of the way into the schedule.”
Although the White Sox return to the road for seven games starting Monday, now may be their best chance to get going.
Of their next 20 games, the White Sox play the Los Angeles Angels (12-22) seven times, the Cubs (13-21) four times, and have three-game series against the Miami Marlins (10-25) and Minnesota Twins, against whom they won 14 of 18 meetings last season.
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The hope is facing pitching staffs that rank 13th (Angels) and 9th (Twins) in the AL and 10th (Marlins) and 8th (Cubs) in the National League can help turn around an offense last in its league in runs, hits, doubles, walks, batting average and on-base and slugging percentage.
“We have a fair amount of guys with some substantial track records behind them which gives you reason to believe there will be some improvement back toward those career norms,” Hahn said. “There’s no reason to believe this permutation of that team, with some improvements in some areas and a lot of the same personnel in others, is going to end up at the bottom of the league in runs scored. We expect there to be a correction fairly soon but thus far it has been disappointing and it’s time to get going.”