Chris Getz has been on the job as the Chicago White Sox general manager for a little more than a week.
“It’s slowing down a little bit in regards to just getting settled in,” Getz said Saturday afternoon. “But every day I wake up, I’m energized. Can’t wait to, whether it’s get to the ballpark or just starting work for that day.
“Whether it be jumping on phone calls, talking to our staff, whatever it is, I’m not lacking energy to get through my 24 hours.”
Getz discussed the improvements the Sox are looking to make offensively, defensively and on the mound for 2024 and beyond before Saturday’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
Coming into Saturday, the Sox ranked 22nd in the majors in batting average (.241) and 28th in OPS (.687).
“When you talk about our offensive group, it’s been frustrating,” Getz said. “(Friday) night was a game we at least capitalized on some opportunities (in the 6-0 victory) which was nice to see. We certainly need to find more consistency with our lineup, just more overall productive at-bats.”
The Sox lost Saturday’s game 3-1 in front of 20,159. Starter José Ureña allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in four innings on the same day he was called up from Triple-A Charlotte. Ureña started in place of Michael Kopech, who is temporarily working out of the bullpen.
Kopech allowed a solo homer to Matt Vierling with two outs in the seventh. He also struck out one and walked one in his one inning.
Luis Robert Jr. had an RBI single in the loss.
Defensively, Getz said the Sox need to “tighten up.” The Sox are 10th in the American League with a .984 fielding percentage.
“Whether that’s going to be different personal manning positions or just how we’re approaching the game defensively, I’m going to take a look at that as well,” Getz said.
He has liked what he has seen from Korey Lee behind the plate.
“He’s shown what he’s capable of doing so far defensively,” Getz said. “The energy that he brings. The arm he’s gifted with has been nice to see and look forward to watching that more.”
Getz has a similar view with some of the younger pitchers in the bullpen.
“Some of these young bullpen arms that have come up here and gotten the opportunity to pitch in some big moments is a good revealer of what they are capable of doing,” Getz said. “Obviously they need to be consistent as well down the stretch here.”
Overall as a staff, the Sox are 26th with a 4.88 ERA.
When it comes to the starters, Getz wants pitchers to “finish as strong as possible, show us what they’re capable of doing so we can make sound decisions in the offseason.”
Getz agreed that the Sox have “tough” decisions ahead — including club options in 2024 for shortstop Tim Anderson and reliever Liam Hendriks.
“Both of those individuals have been a positive influence on this club,” Getz said. “Certainly in 2021 when we won the division and what Liam has gone through on and off the field. And the same thing goes with TA, we know what he’s capable of doing (and) the energy he can bring to a ballclub.
“And not having Liam around and TA more or less searching for himself I think has hindered us. Figuring out are these guys going to be part of the club moving forward, we’re going to look at that closely, it deserves a lot of time before making that decision just because we’re talking about high-caliber major-league players.”
In general, there might be some adjustments to the core.
“We’re a team that needs to get more athletic,” Getz said. “I spoke about the defense, I think we’ve seen some of the baserunning that’s been frustrating, whether that be related to effort or the ability to take the extra base, all things that are being evaluated and most likely need to be adjusted.
“In regards to the makeup of the roster, it would be shortsighted not to at least exhaust or at least entertain some ways to improve the team. When you’re a sub-60-win team, which we are at this point (55-86 entering Saturday), I certainly need to find ways to improve this for 2024, and if that means we need to acquire some players by moving some of the players who are on this roster, I’m willing to do that.”
Pitching will be one of the areas of need.
“We’ve got some holes to fill,” Getz said. “We need to find a strategy to better us for 2024, and pitching is going to be a top priority. We sit here today — once again sub-60 wins — there are a lot of areas that need to be attacked. But there is an order in which we will be attacking those.”