CHICAGO -- The question of when it is no longer "too early" for the White Sox amid a slow start has been asked often over the past six weeks.
General manager Rick Hahn has mentioned 60 games as the first barometer, but here's an even better initial checkpoint: Take a look at where the White Sox stand at the end of May.
After winning their third straight series with Wednesday night's 4-2 victory over the Brewers, the White Sox left for Oakland to face the A's, who own the worst record in the American League and won't have the benefit of starting ace Sonny Gray against Chicago. The White Sox will then begin a seven-game stretch against the Indians and Twins at home, where they are 10-5, during a week when Paul Konerko's jersey No. 14 will be retired.
The club will then go on the road trip of all road trips, an 11-game stretch that includes three against Toronto, a makeup doubleheader in Baltimore, three in Houston and three more in Arlington. Even if the White Sox are under .500 and five or six games back in the AL Central at the end of that run, on June 5, they should still have a fighting chance.
Manager Robin Ventura's crew just can't afford to get buried over the next two weeks -- not when the offense is starting to come alive as the weather turns. Not when top prospectCarlos Rodon has joined the rotation on essentially a full-time basis. Not when the team is playing its best baseball of the young season.
Not when it has July and August coming, including 32 games at home.
"The good thing about baseball is you play 162 games, so we have plenty of time to figure it out," White Sox closer David Robertson said.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.