Stock watch: Eaton up, bullpen crashes
August, 4, 2014
By Doug Padilla
AP Photo/Andrew A. NellesComing off a .340 July, Adam Eaton is batting .538 through three games in August.
Adam Eaton, CF: Four months into the season and the team's new leadoff man continues to impress. A current 10-game hit streak and 20-game on-base streak is one thing, but Eaton has also helped to stabilize defense in center, a spot previously occupied by Alejandro De Aza and Alex Rios. The White Sox moved starter Hector Santiago and minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs to get Eaton and at this point they have zero buyer's remorse.
Jose Abreu: 1B: Going hitless in his past two games doesn't necessarily sound like somebody on the rise, but nobody dares to call Abreu a hitter on a slide after the monster July he produced. Abreu's power numbers seemed to have cooled of late, but he had a hit in all but one July game and batted .374 during the month with a 1.099 OPS. Abreu's six home runs in July are just one more than he hit in May, when he spent two weeks on the disabled list. Blame a sore lower back that plagued him late in the month.
Starting pitching: White Sox starters own a 3.42 ERA over their past 36 starts, one of the best marks in the American League over that stretch. Since June 23, when the solid stretch began, the White Sox have lowered their overall starters' ERA from 4.77 to 4.30. White Sox lefties Jose Quintana, Chris Sale and John Danks have combined to go 25-14 with a 3.21 ERA this season in 61 combined starts (44 quality).
Ronald Belisario, RP: It might make more sense to simply qualify the entire bullpen as on the decline, especially after its meltdown Sunday (15 runs in four innings), but Belisario has managed to stand out from the rest. The right-hander has given up at least three runs in three of his last four outings. The former Dodgers reliever has always been an up-and-down proposition, starting slow, pitching better in the middle of the season and fading late. What is troubling is that his career 4.17 ERA in August is his worst of any month.
Eric Surkamp, RP: Give the left-hander credit for trying to adapt to a bullpen role after being called up in June from Triple-A Charlotte where he was a starter. The transition has had its rough spots. Surkamp's contribution to Sunday's bullpen troubles was two runs on four hits over one inning. He has given up a run in three consecutive outings, and four of his last five, and now has a 7.84 ERA on the season.
Gordon Beckham, 2B: A two-hit game on Saturday showed some signs of life, but since the start of July, Beckham's overall production remains alarmingly low. An 0-for-3 day on Sunday means that Beckham is batting just .149 (16-for-107) since July 1. Although he wouldn't admit it, the thought has been that the approaching July 31 non-waiver trade deadline was messing with his mind. Now that the deadline has passed, it wouldn't be surprising to see Beckham improve at the plate.