Offensive inconsistency puzzles White Sox GM

Hahn remains confident power numbers will return

Offensive inconsistency puzzles White Sox GM

CHICAGO -- Even with the plethora of seemingly strong moves made by Rick Hahn in the offseason, there clearly still were some concerns for the White Sox general manager coming into the 2015 season.

What looked to be a high-powered offense was not one of them.

"That's probably something that was lower on the list of concerns heading in," said Hahn. "There's a lot about the offense to like, and we think there's still a lot about the offense to like in terms of how it complements each other, the power in the middle, the ability to run and show some athleticism and do some of the little things to help you win. But we just haven't been consistent."

Hahn's assessment stands as a bit of an understatement with an offense that had just 35 home runs and 191 runs scored entering Friday's series opener against the Tigers. The power outage stands as the most surprising, with Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Adam LaRoche in the lineup.

"We have guys with power that haven't really got into that groove of being able to hit it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't necessarily like relying on it. You like to be able to create runs and have different situations to do it. But it's the easiest way to get back into the game, and it's the easiest way to win a game, is late in the game being able to hit a homer."

Much like his comments on Tuesday in Texas, Hahn reiterated Friday at U.S. Cellular Field that he believes the White Sox are on an upswing by surviving a four-city, 11-game road trip with a 5-6 mark and playing 18 games in 17 days before Monday's off-day. He refused to put a date on when the White Sox would decide on their '15 direction, but spoke about seeing where this team stands one month from now.

"Obviously, as you get closer to July 31, you have some priorities you have to put in order, whether it's the current season and feeding what you're doing right now versus reshaping for the future," Hahn said. "As we sit here today, our hope continues to be that we're in a position to add and have reinforcements come in here and contribute to a championship."

Zach Putnam, who was unavailable Thursday because of a right thumb issue, was ready for action Friday.

"It's just from pitching, mainly. Just throwing," said Putnam, who had a little piece of the nail taken out in Houston to alleviate the problem. "I had kind of an ingrown thumbnail, and it kind of just got really inflamed and so [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] and [White Sox assistant athletic trainer] Brian [Ball] and I just decided to nip it in the bud."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.