As the All-Star break arrives, Ozzie Guillen didn’t hesitate when asked how trying the first half has been for him and the White Sox.
“Very disappointing,” Guillen said. “We thought coming out of spring training our ball club is going to kick some butt. That [hasn’t] happened yet. My expectations were higher than anybody else. I was expecting that this ballclub go out there and have some fun. Unfortunately we’re not doing it right now.”
The White Sox have been inconsistent all season. After starting off the season 11-22, they recently climbed back to the .500 mark.
However, they followed that up by losing four in a row earlier this week. Despite the up-and-down nature of the team thus far, Guillen pointed to his loaded roster as reason to be optimistic for the rest of the year.
“[I’m hopeful] because of our talent,” Guillen said. “We haven’t played up to our potential. “
Probably the most disappointing part of the team has been the offense. Adam Dunn’s struggles (.162 BA/.292 OBP/.308 SLG, to go along with 115 strikeouts) have been well-chronicled, but Alex Rios (.211/.260/.309) and Gordon Beckham (.241/.302/.354) have underwhelmed as well.
There has been much clamor for the White Sox to add a spark to the offense by calling up hot-hitting prospect Dayan Viciedo. The 22-year-old outfielder is hitting .325 with 16 home runs with the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate.
Tyler Flowers, who was called up from Charlotte on Sunday, said that Viciedo looks ready for the big leagues and that his defense has improved a lot since spring training. He also said Viciedo isn't getting impatient about not being called up to the big leagues yet.
“I really respect the guy about not being too frustrated about it,” Flowers said. “Obviously he wants to be here, but at the same time he’s still working hard to get better. He’s been impressive to watch the last few years, one of my favorite guys to be around.”
But the bottom line is that Viciedo isn’t with the team right now and even if he is brought up to the big leagues, it’s unlikely that his presence alone will propel the team to the top of the standings.
For the White Sox to be the powerhouse Guillen envisioned in March, someone other than Paul Konerko is going to have to deliver at the plate.