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Chicago White Sox: Embarrassing 2023

New General Manager Chris Getz stands in the Chicago White Sox dugout.

One team who would like to forget an embarrassing record from the 2023 MLB season is the Chicago White Sox.

 There really aren’t many positive things to say about the Chicago White Sox from this past year. After being a competitive team for much of 2022, the 2023 campaign was a major downturn for the White Sox. They won 20 fewer games in 2023 compared to 2022’s record. Not only that, but they also almost came up at the bottom of the AL Central.

A new question looms: Is it time for a rebuild on the South Side?

With a 61-101 record, the first season for new manager Pedro Grifol is one that he’d like to soon forget. But this will be a learning point, as the Pale Hose has a whole new front office in place.

For more on the White Sox’s disappointment, check out Jackson Fryburger’s piece here.

The memories of their 2005 World Series title appear to be long gone. Let’s take a deeper look at what went wrong for the Chicago White Sox in 2023…

Offense Appears to Be A Bit Sluggish

One thing that immediately stands out is the bottom-feeding offense based on the 2023 statistics. The ChiSox tallied the second-fewest runs in the American League with 641. They also acquired the fourth-fewest hits (1308), fifth-lowest home runs (171), and were walked the fewest times in the AL (377).

As a result, the slash line places the Sox at twelfth in the Junior Circuit in team batting average (.238), worst in on-base percentage (.291), twelfth in slugging (.384), and fourteenth in OPS (.675). In a word, ouch.

Robert Jr. Steps Up Amidst Dismal Seasons

But one guy who did have a positive impact for the South Siders in 2023 was OF Luis Robert Jr. In his fourth full season in the Majors, Robert tallied a more-than-respectable .264/.315/.542 slash line. He also put up a career-high in hits (144), home runs (38), RBI (80), doubles (36), and stolen bases (20).

Those numbers earned him an All-Star nomination, a Silver Slugger award for the center field position, and the 12th most votes for the AL MVP.

Not only that, but he is a plus defender, only committing ten total errors through his first four campaigns. That gives him a career fielding percentage of .989. That means he is dependable when a ball is hit his way. Robert also won a Gold Glove award following his rookie season in 2020.

Vaughn Starting to Emerge as a Power Threat

Another guy that put together a breakout year in 2023 is 1B Andrew Vaughn. In his first full season at first base, Vaughn had the second-most hits on the team among individual players with 146. His slash line stats may have gone down a little bit, but he still marked a .258 average, .314 on-base percentage, and .429 slugging percentage (similar to 2022), for a .743 OPS. In a full season at his natural position, Vaughn increased his value to the team.

He also bopped a career-high 146 hits, 21 bombs, 80 RBIs, 30 doubles, and a pair of triples. Vaughn could be a guy that serves a cornerstone of the franchise to build on for the future.

Overall, the offense is one of the weaker units for the AL looking on stats alone.

Pitching: 2023 A Year to Forget

For the most part, the 2023 season would be one that the White Sox pitching staff wants to remove from the memory banks as soon as possible.

Looking at the statistics, they had the third-worst team ERA in the AL (4.87), while surrendering the fifth-most hits (1372), third-highest run total (841), and third-most earned runs (774). The White Sox pitchers also gave up the most home runs in the AL with 214. The Sox also walked the second-most opposing batters, 654 all told. If anything positive can be taken away, they did strikeout the fourth-most batters. 1470 opposing hitters went down via the punch out.

The bullpen is also not much of a dependable unit, only tallying 28 saves, tied for the fewest in the AL.

Clevinger Puts Together Decent Season Amongst Disappointment

One pitcher who had a respectable season for the ChiSox in 2023 was right-hander SP Mike Clevinger. In 24 starts, Clevinger put together a 9-9 record with a solid 3.77 ERA. For his age-32 season, he also tallied 110 strikeouts in 131.1 innings.

While he is starting to get up there in age, he is still a serviceable pitcher who can provide some innings for his coaching staff.

Clevinger also touts a below league-average WHIP at 1.22, so he does a decent job at keeping runners off the base paths.

However, for the most part, the White Sox staff looked to be a revolving door for a majority of the season.

So… What do the Chicago White Sox Need to Do in the Off-Season?

That’s a good question. The first need would be to go out and get someone who can hit for average and a little bit of pop. Then, develop the starting rotation with a free agent pickup. Getz’s top priority has been to improve on the depth that did not exist last season.

Overall, the hallmark word for the 2024 season for the Chicago White Sox should be consistency. They need to find guys who can bring that consistency to righten the ship a little bit. Otherwise, the tenure of Pedro Grifol will be one that is short lived.


Nate Powalie is a contributor for Back Sports Page. A 2022 graduate of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio), Nate has five years of sports writing experience, and has gotten the chance to call sporting events for radio and live stream. Nate also works as a cashier and can be found on Twitter (@PNate22) and Facebook (Nate Powalie).

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