GM Chris Getz discusses the Chicago White Sox’s historically bad 2024 start and the big picture for the franchise

Amid the worst start in franchise history, Chicago White Sox general manager Chris Getz has remained mindful of the big picture.

“Whether it be last August or September when I took over in this position, the easiest thing to do is to just focus on the results of your major league club,” Getz said Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field. “And I get it. We’re here to win games at the major-league level. But, you’ve got to look at the foundation of an organization.

“You’ve got to look at every department, you’ve got to make sure you’re sound in all those areas because at the end that’s a byproduct of every process that exists. And it takes time.”

Getz met with reporters before the Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak Friday with a 9-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Sox entered Saturday at 4-22, tied with the 2022 Cincinnati Reds for the third-worst mark in Major League Baseball through 26 games since 1937. The Baltimore Orioles started 2-24 in 1988, and the Detroit Tigers began 3-23 in 2003.

“Quite honestly, it is frustrating to look up and have a record like that,” Getz said. “No one was hoping for something like that. But you look at the health of the organization underneath, and our farm system, it’s certainly climbing in the ranks.

“You look at our Birmingham club (in Double A) and other affiliates that are playing really well. You look at some of the arms we acquired in the last year, and most recently in the Dylan Cease trade, that have really gone out there and performed well. It’s exciting from that standpoint.”

Getz stressed staying at it.

“It takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of focus, and we’ve got a group that’s sticking together and we’re going to stay at it,” he said.

At the big-league level, Getz pointed to starter Erick Fedde’s success since returning from the Korea Baseball Organization, Garrett Crochet’s move from the bullpen to the rotation, Michael Kopech’s role as a reliever and the steps catcher Korey Lee has taken from 2023 to 2024 among the positive developments.

“I know it’s difficult for, whether it be fans or anyone else following closely, to kind of find these positives,” Getz said. “But I certainly have been able to, with the progress of some of our players. But that doesn’t mean that other players don’t need to step up, either. (First baseman) Andrew Vaughn is a guy that has had some early-season struggles (hitting .165), but his at-bats are getting better.

“And hopefully he can build off what he’s done here recently and really help our offense get going because he’s an important piece of our success.”

It’s similar for left fielder Andrew Benintendi, who entered Saturday hitting .169 (15-for-89).

“It’s been streaky,” Getz said of Benintendi’s 2024. “Obviously, he’s playing below his standards. You see some quality at-bats, and then you see some at-bats that you feel like he’s giving away. He’s a player that is on the search of finding the right adjustment. You can see it from at-bat to at-bat, from pitch to pitch. He’s got a track record at the major-league level. We’ve got to continue to support him.

“Defensively, I know there were some plays here recently where he didn’t get to balls that perhaps he had gotten to in the past. He’s got to stay at it, he does. He’s frustrated, and obviously we need that bat for us to be a productive offense. So we hope we can get him going pretty soon.”

Defense and fundamentals as a whole were focal points of the offseason. The team started well in that department but has had some bumps recently — whether it’s not hitting cutoffs or executing other plays.

“With some of the injuries, that affected who we had to play at certain positions,” Getz said. “Those are things you have to take into account. But when they all come at once, it can be a little more difficult. We’ve got some players that have really improved defensively and have been consistent for us at getting outs and creating outs.

“Are there areas that need to get better? Sure. But overall, I’ve been fairly happy with our defense. It’s a huge piece of our success at this level. We’ve got players that are very capable.”

The Sox are hopeful that one of those injured players, All-Star center fielder Luis Robert Jr., could be back by mid-May. He’s in Arizona, working his way back from a right hip flexor strain. He went on the injured list April 6.

“When you recover that quickly from an injury that significant, it means you’ve set up a pretty good foundation,” manager Pedro Grifol said Saturday. “He’s getting closer. He’s doing a really good job. He’s hungry to get back.”

The Sox are in need of offensive help, ranking last in the majors in several hitting categories such as average (.198) and runs (65). Throughout the epic March/April struggles in general, Getz said Grifol has been “steady.”

“We just ask for consistency from our coaching staff,” Getz said. “The clubhouse, they’re showing up on a daily basis ready to play and perform. Obviously we wish we had better results, but the evaluation is always ongoing for players, staff and myself.

“It’s still early in the year. It could feel like there’s a lot to overcome, (but) really focusing on getting our players better on a daily basis.”