3 Chicago White Sox takeaways as they head to Yankee Stadium, including who might be their All-Star representative

Only three years ago, a Chicago White Sox-New York Yankees affair merited national TV exposure in the first Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa.

But that 2021 game, made famous by Tim Anderson’s walk-off home run into the cornfield, is a distant memory for the Sox, who enter this weekend’s series in New York at the start of another long rebuild.

Here are three takeaways heading into the three-game series in the Bronx:

1. Erick Fedde and Garrett Crochet are the White Sox’s likeliest All-Star candidates.

The Sox figure to have only one representative because of their poor record. Fedde is 4-0 and ranks ninth among American League starters with a 2.60 ERA, while Crochet ranks second in the majors with 70 strikeouts and first in strikeouts per nine innings (12.19).

The starting pitching duo has helped the team’s recent hot streak. Sox starters have a combined 1.81 ERA over the last seven games, but unfortunately for Sox fans, neither Crochet nor Fedde will pitch against the Yankees.

“Crochet has been great,” Fedde said. “People forget he’s (10) starts into his whole career. He’s been growing and getting so much better at commanding stuff, reading hitters and coming up with plans to face guys the first two times through the lineup.

“He’s obviously got electric stuff, and I look at him as a guy we expect to be our No. 1 and someone we all try to be like as we move forward.”

Fedde has been the more consistent of the two but doesn’t consider himself the staff ace.

“Of course I‘d like to, but I’m not dumb,” he said with a grin. “When I watch him pitch, it looks a little different. He’s a special talent, and I’m just trying to be as good as him and try to go deep in games and give us chances to win.”

General manager Chris Getz took a big gamble on Fedde, who was the league MVP in South Korea last year but didn’t produce in his previous major-league stint with the Washington Nationals. The risk appears to have paid off. Fedde is succeeding and believes the team has reestablished itself over the last three weeks, winning 11 of 19 games.

“It was always the goal for me,” Fedde said of his performance. “This team, we obviously think we’ve played better than (the record) at times. We’ve had some bad luck, a lot of injuries, but we’re starting to get our feet under us. We’ve had some new additions, Garrett and (Chris) Flexen have been pitching much better. Of course I wanted it to happen that way, so now just try to keep it going.”

2. Does Korey Lee need more playing time?

Lee hit an abysmal .077 with the Sox last year after they acquired him at the trade deadline from the Houston Astros for Kendall Graveman. But his .310 average through Wednesday was tied with the Kansas City RoyalsSalvador Pérez for second among AL catchers.

Lee said being over .300 means nothing to him.

“Just trying to do good things and pass the baton in our lineup,” he said. “Once we get rolling, it’s a really good lineup to keep on hitting.”

Lee’s slash line over the last eight games of .414/.433/.655 with a 1.088 OPS would seem to merit more playing time. But manager Pedro Grifol insists Lee is being handled correctly, splitting time with light-hitting veteran Martín Maldonado.

Without being considered a starter by Grifol, Lee is unlikely to get much consideration as an All-Star reserve, even if he deserves to be in the mix. Pérez figures to win the fan vote as the AL starter.

3. Low attendance likely means more trades are coming.

The Sox’s average attendance of 16,131 in 22 games at Guaranteed Rate Field ranks 27th in the majors, and that figure is inflated by opening day and three special giveaways that drew a combined 115,757 of the team total of 354,899.

Their average of 13,285 in the other 18 home games is a concern to management, which budgets for next year based on this year’s attendance. Last year’s 101-loss season led to low season ticket sales, and the 3-22 start this year also affected the gate.

At this rate look for the Sox to shed payroll even further at the trade deadline and in 2025. That means Getz likely will have to hit on more relatively low-salary signings like Fedde and Tommy Pham to take the rebuild to the next step.