With the first month of the 2022 MLB season coming to a close, one of the bigger surprises has been the struggling Sox offenses, in both Chicago and Boston. While both were popular picks to return to the Postseason, both Sox offenses will have to find a way to start generating more at the plate or they’ll be spending October at home.
A Cold Start in Chicago
Starting with the reigning AL Central champions, the White Sox offense finds themselves ranked 19th in slugging, 26th in batting average and dead last in on-base percentage. As a result, they find themselves ranked ahead of only the Orioles and Royals for runs scored in the American League. Meanwhile, their ineptitude at the plate saw the team finish the month of April dropping 8 of their last 10 games.
Going into the season, the White Sox offense was expected to be led by their talented outfield duo of Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Instead, Jimenez returned to the IL with a hamstring injury and Robert has struggled, finding his batting average below the dreaded Mendoza line. Robert has compounded his struggles by hitting more ground balls and only walking once.
Meanwhile, Eloy and Robert aren’t the only two members of the White Sox offense that have started the season struggling. Jose Abreu appears to finally be showing his age, Leury Garcia is barely hitting above .100 and AJ Pollock has yet to homer for the South Siders.
The Battered Bats of Boston
Boston entered the 2022 season having added one of the bigger name free agents in Trevor Story while returning most of their lineup from their 2021 ALCS appearance. While their pitching has been better than expected, the offense finds themselves 21st in average, 23rd in slugging and only above the White Sox in on-base percentage.
When the Red Sox signed Trevor Story, they likely envisioned Story partnering with Xander Bogaerts to form one of the most offensively impressive middle infields in baseball. And while Bogaerts has held up to his end of the bargain, the same can’t be said for the Red Sox big free agent acquisition. Story has limped out of the starting gate to his Red Sox career and has yet to homer for his new team. Meanwhile, he is striking out more, walking less and generating a career low hard hit percentage.
Story is far from the only Bostonian to struggle this season. 2021 hero Kiké Hernandez is hovering right around the Mendoza line while breakout candidate Bobby Dalbec and Jackie Bradley Jr.are hitting about .150. Meanwhile, Hunter Renfroe would be leading the team in home runs.
While most of the team is struggling, the Red Sox offense has once again been carried by Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and JD Martinez. While the team will likely find their groove soon, the AL East is expected to be highly contested and the Red Sox are certainly doing themselves no favors with this start.
While there is plenty of season to go, both Sox offenses will need to get going soon if they want to be playing October baseball.
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