White Sox Keep High Expectations for 2023 MLB Season – NBC Chicago

Hahn on 2022 season: ‘We’re all embarrassed’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The White Sox aren’t running away from the disappointment of last season. After back-to-back seasons with win percentages well above .500, which each resulted in a playoff appearance, the White Sox took a step backwards in 2022. There were long stretches of poor play, and any hint of a turnaround throughout the summer proved to be short lived. They finished 81-81, a poetic representation of their middling play.

“We’re all embarrassed by how things played and know that this team is capable of much, much more,” said GM Rick Hahn. “I think you hearken back to a year ago at this time when we were widely viewed as not only potential favorites in the division, but to do damage in October.”

Expectations have largely changed, even though the White Sox core has remained almost entirely the same. Jose Abreu is out and Andrew Benintendi is in. The only major addition to the pitching staff was Mike Clevinger, and his availability for the season remains unknown while MLB continues its investigation into domestic violence allegations brought against him.

“We get it, based on how we performed and what happened last year, why a lot of those expectations publicly have tempered,” Hahn said.

Many projections have the White Sox finishing below .500 for the first time since 2019 when they went 72-89. As players have begun addressing the media at the start of spring training, several have bristled at the lack of confidence in the team.

“This is my third year here,” said Lance Lynn on a recent episode of NBC Sports Chicago’s White Sox Talk podcast. “They haven’t been correct with any of them so far. Hopefully, we make sure they’re not correct again.”

“We know the narrative out there right now,” said Gavin Sheets. “We’re excited to get the season started and kind of change that narrative and get back to work and do what we’re capable of doing.”

One of the greatest motivators for athletes is to perform when the public has counted you out. We’ve heard the sentiment over and over in postgame interviews from every big event from the World Series to the Super Bowl. The White Sox have as much bulletin board material as any team in baseball this spring, and it’s clear they’re looking forward to using it.

“Everybody should (have a chip on their shoulder),” said Tim Anderson. “Everybody should. You know we didn’t play our best ball last year, so we’re just going to try to create something new and try to bring something different.”

As for how the White Sox will “create something new” this year, Anderson shared a simple plan.

“Try not to do it like last year.”

Glib responses aside, there is one big reason to believe in a bounceback season on the South Side: the team is healthy again. Last year Tim Anderson missed 83 games, Eloy Jimenez missed 78, Luis Robert 64, Yasmani Grandal 63 and Yoan Moncada 58. That’s essentially the heart of the lineup gone for two months or more. Injuries are going to happen again. They always do. But a repeat of last year’s bad luck would be astonishing.

Regardless, Lynn believes it’s more important that the White Sox learn from last season’s misfortune.

“How are we going to deal with the bad luck?” Lynn said on the White Sox Talk podcast. “How are we going to turn it around?… Who’s going to step up? And when the next wave of bad luck happens, how are we not going to let it override our season?”

Whatever happens, the White Sox still believe they have a World Series caliber team.

“Internally, I don’t think the expectations have changed in terms of what we were hoping and expecting this team to be,” said Hahn. “We know what this team is capable of doing and our expectation is that they meet that capability.”

Click here to follow the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.