The Chicago White Sox have made a mess of their season. Now, it’s time to clean it up.
That painful yet necessary process continued Tuesday with the firings of executive vice president Ken Williams and senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn. The duo constructed an experienced yet flawed club, whose record of 49-77 is the fourth-worst in Major League Baseball.
What’s next for the club? Presumably, more dramatic changes are in store. That may include offloading more veterans this offseason. The White Sox will have plenty of decisions to make, including whether to pick up the options of pitcher Mike Clevinger and shortstop Tim Anderson.
Clevinger signed a one-year, $12-million contract last November with a $12 million mutual option for 2024. While that comes with a $4 million buyout, Clevinger has been one of Chicago’s steadier arms, going 5-6 with a respectable 3.47 ERA in his first season with the club. Read on as we break down more Mike Clevinger stats.
Building Up Strength
Mike Clevinger’s stats show a pitcher improving as the innings pile up. After posting ERAs of 4.60 in April and 4.50 in May, Clevinger, 32, has pitched more effectively over the last few months. While Clevinger missed nearly all of July after turning in a splendid June (1.76 ERA), he’s rebounded this month. The right-hander has recorded a 3.13 ERA over four starts in August, including a seven-shutout inning gem against the rival Chicago Cubs in a 4-3 loss on Aug. 16.
Clevinger has shown a penchant for length, with five straight starts of at least five innings and five of six innings or more since the start of May.
Finding Success at Home
According to MLB player stats, Clevinger has fared far better at home (2.63 ERA) than on the road (4.17 ERA) this season. Before Tuesday’s loss to the Seattle Mariners, in which Clevinger was dinged for four runs in five innings, he had allowed two or fewer runs over his last five starts at Guaranteed Rate Field dating to April. Furthermore, he’d thrown 23 innings there without allowing a home run.
For the season, opponents are hitting just .228 against Clevinger at home, compared to .245 on the road.
How does Clevinger’s performance compare to previous seasons? Quite favorably, in fact. Clevinger’s ERA is nearly a full run lower than last year’s mark of 4.33, and his strikeout rate is up a tick as well, from 7.2 K/9 to 7.4. Although Clevinger is allowing more baserunners at a slightly higher rate, as evidenced by his 1.29 WHIP, his ability to keep the ball in the yard has helped limit the damage. He’s allowed only 11 homers in 90.2 innings.
Clevinger’s five quality starts are tied for fourth on the White Sox.
The White Sox aren’t to be confused with the MLB leaders. Their fall down the 2023 MLB standings has been precipitous. The White Sox entered Wednesday with the third-worst record in the American League. They’ve been outscored by 123 runs, a staggering number for a team that supposedly was equipped with top-of-the-line arms.
Starters Lucas Giolito (Angels) and Lance Lynn (Dodgers) were both shipped out at the trade deadline, leaving Dylan Cease as the leading man atop Chicago’s rotation. Cease hasn’t been nearly as good as in 2022, when he was among the MLB stat leaders with a 2.20 ERA and 227 strikeouts. The right-hander’s ERA has jumped to 4.50 (the highest since his rookie season in 2019), while his strikeout rate has dropped from 11.1 K/9 to 10.6. As such, Cease, a +900 AL Cy Young pick in spring training, is now off the board.
The White Sox ranked 26th in ERA (4.81) and 25th in WHIP (1.41). They’re also tied for 19th in quality starts with 40. Even if those figures improve over the next few weeks, there’s little upside here. This is a case of an underachieving team simply playing out the string.Follow us on Twitter
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