The Chicago White Sox are trying to prevent the 2022 season from being a complete loss. Heading into the season, they were widely expected to run away with the American League Central, but that hasn’t been the case. They are currently in third place in the AL Central behind the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins, while also being two games out of the final wild card spot in the American League.
There is still time for the White Sox to turn things around, but they are going to have to start now. Their roster as a whole has underperformed quite drastically this season, and changes may need to be made in order to salvage the season.
Chicago had a fairly low-key trade deadline, but it’s clear there are some moves that need to be made on their roster now that the trade deadline has come and gone. Let’s take a look at two of those moves and analyze how they could help the Sox improve down the stretch of the season.
2 moves the Chicago White Sox need to make
2. Bench Yoan Moncada
Much of Chicago’s lineup has underperformed during the 2022 season, but maybe the biggest disappointment is Yoan Moncada. Moncada had quietly become a key contributor in the White Sox lineup over the past few seasons, and was counted on to be a big piece of the puzzle in 2022.
Instead, Moncada has been awful. He’s hitting just .202 with six home runs and 32 RBIs, and his .587 OPS is the lowest total he’s had since 2016 when he played in eight games with the Boston Red Sox. It’s been tough to justify keeping his bat in the lineup, and it may be time to send Moncada to the bench in favor of other options.
The problem is that Chicago doesn’t really have a clear cut option that they could throw in at third base over Moncada. Leury Garcia hasn’t been great off the bench this season, and even then he’s filling in for Tim Anderson at shortstop right now. Lenyn Sosa is young and could start at second base while Josh Harrison moves over to third, but he’s hitting just .107 in limited action so far. Jake Burger, who was hitting .250 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs, could be recalled to spell Moncada some playing time.
There are a couple of solutions here, and it may be time to explore them in hopes of finding a spark. Giving Sosa an extended run could be an option given he was tearing the cover off the ball in the minors earlier this season, and if he struggles, you still have Moncada on the bench to turn to. But right now, it’s time for Yoan Moncada to hit the bench, and the White Sox should look into exploring their other options while they are still in the playoff hunt.
1. Send Lance Lynn to the bullpen
A big reason for Chicago’s struggles this season has been their starting rotation. The primary culprit is Lance Lynn, who chose a bad time to put together the worst season of his career. Lynn got a late start after opening the season on the injured list, and he’s never settled in. The result has been a massively disappointing season from one of the White Sox supposed top starters.
In his 11 starts, Lynn has a 2-5 record with a 5.88 ERA. This is a massive drop off in production from Lynn after he had three straight seasons where he finished in the top six for Cy Young voting. Lynn has gotten hit hard all season long, and there’s been no real solution to his struggles to this point.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer that Lynn just does not have it this season, and the White Sox cannot afford to keep trotting him out every fifth day to start for them. They need to get him out of the rotation as soon as possible, and the best solution would be to send him to the bullpen to work on his mechanics and figure out why he is struggling so much. Putting Lynn in low leverage situations would give him the opportunity to build himself back up, hopefully in time for a potential playoff run for the Sox.
Similar to Moncada, though, there aren’t many great options to replace Lynn. They could turn to Jimmy Lambert to be an opener of sorts, or just wait for Vince Velasquez to return, although it sounds like the Sox want to use him as a reliever when he returns. Either way, Lance Lynn can’t reasonably used as a starter considering his ERA is nearly at six, and Chicago needs to send him to the bullpen as soon as possible.