Chicago Baseball: First 48

The Chicago baseball landscape appears dark and stormy for the next five months. The White Sox open a three game series in Arlington that’a going to be an extremely tough stretch of games. The Sox are currently 4 games under the .500% mark through 24 games, which puts them 4 games out of first place in the AL Central. The surprising KC Royals have jumped out to a nice start in that division with a 13-8 mark, and Detroit is right there with them only a half game back. Detroit seems to be clearig up their back end of the bullpen situation by getting Valverde back in the mix. Victor Martinez hasn’t seemed to slow or improve the two monsters in the middle of the Detroit lineup.  To expect Chicago to go into Comerica this year and sweep the Tigers or Royals at Kaufmann just isn’t going to happen.

I thought the White Sox would be more competitive at this point of the season, but their best offensive performer has been Alex Rios and – apart from that opening day start by Chris Sale – the pitching staff hasn’t lived up to my expectations.  The South Siders may have taken a step back from fielding a competitive team. The bullpen has been a nice surprise for the Sox and they may have found their closer in Addison Reed. Which is actually nice way of transitioning into the Cubs and their slew of problems….

The Chicago Cubs are actually the more likely of the City’s teams to win a title with the current alignment of stars in the universe. Okay, I know Jorge Soler went all Izzy Alcantera the other day, but that’s not taking away from his massive potential. The Cubs have got some tremendous athletes in the farm system and – as I’ve been on record since the start of my scruples – they’re stockpiling arms. The Cubs are making the right moves in this regard. Grab athletes at the top of the draft who can be multi-tool prospects, identify the skinny on them, and theneither trade them for promising talent or keep them and let them develop in the system.

The Cubs won three straight with the support of three Kevin Gregg saves.  It was a shrewd move when the Cubs picked him up. He appeared to have paid off for at least a weekend, even thought they couldn’t get the sweep to give them their 10th win on the season. That would’ve given them the same record as their South Side counterpart and the world would’ve been at peace with both teams having matching 10-14 records. Not the case, but Cubs have this home stand with which to make up some ground. Chicago should take at least 3 out of 4 from San Diego then you take a tough Sunday game with 2 out of 3 from the Reds and – voila! – you immediately turn your season around.

As broadcasters have frustratingly questioned recently, when was the last time Chicago put together a successful month of good winning baseball? If the Cubs can take the favorable schedule now and turn it into a good couple weeks they’ll have a ton of momentum going into the entry draft and from there you get a vibe out of the fan base for a renewed sense of hopes and dreams and…madness ensues.

It’s been a tough first 48 for Chicago’s baseball fans, but on the bright side there are two teams that could be distracting us from this until late June.