Hahn: White Sox have enough arms
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 10, 2013 10:45PM
DETROIT — General manager Rick Hahn sees what you see.
An offensively challenged White Sox team — that 23-hit outburst Tuesday notwithstanding — with good-enough pieces in place to stabilize his starting rotation for years to come.
“We’ve earned that record,’’ Hahn said Wednesday before his team fell to 35-53 with an 8-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. “You’ve seen the way we’ve played. We sit where we sit in the standings because of our performance. Looking at these guys right now, to say we should be contending, there is strong evidence of their performances against that.
“It hasn’t added up to a productive club. But obviously when you look at them individually, you see the value in each of those players and what they’re capable of doing.’’
Hahn declined to discuss ongoing trade talks, but he shed some light into what he wants to acquire and what he’d be inclined to keep. He needs offense, and he has pitching and enough young arms to avoid a major tear-down.
“You are going to compete in this league with the pitching, and we do feel we have the nucleus under control for a while going forward that is going to help us compete,’’ Hahn said. “The bulk of our struggles this year have been on the offensive side. That’s something we are going to have to improve.’’
As he works the phones dangling individual trade chips to other GMs leading to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, Hahn painted a favorable picture of the Sox’ short-term future. The Sox are a last-place team, but they have enough pitchers under control to win if they can find a way to score runs and play defense. Jake Peavy might go — or perhaps another big salary like John Danks’ — but the pitching staff won’t be turned upside down. Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton could bring young hitting prospects, but past those pitchers, why deplete a valuable resource other teams long for?
“I’m not going to answer hypothetically about what happens if we do this or that, but if you look at who we have under control right now going forward on the pitching staff, you see Chris Sale, and Jake [Peavy] is signed for next year, and you’ll have John Danks even further away from surgery,’’ Hahn said. “Jose Quintana is blossoming into fulfilling a lot of his potential. And there are guys in the system [such as right-hander Erik Johnson], and [Hector] Santiago and [Dylan Axelrod] have done a nice job, and there are other guys coming who can round out a pretty solid starting rotation. That doesn’t even get to the bullpen with [Addison] Reed and [Nate] Jones and the guys who have thrown well down there.’’
Coming off a start against the Tampa Bay Rays in which he failed to finish the second inning, Axelrod (3-6) might be a stretch to be mentioned in that group. He allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 52/3 innings and has seen his ERA climb to 5.33.
Conor Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham homered, and Dayan Viciedo showed more signs of coming out of his slump with two hits, including an RBI double.
Viciedo, who hit two home runs Tuesday, raised his average to .248. Hahn wants to see more of that.
And Beckham, who homered off reliever Bruce Rondon, continues to be a glimmer of hope for the Sox’ offense down the road. Beckham is batting .340.
“The further he’s away from [hamate bone] surgery, the home-run thing is going to get better,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “He has pop. His at-bats are impressive. At-bat after at-bat, he’s fouling off stuff and eventually hitting the ball hard.’’