White Sox GM Hahn: We still have a lot of work to do

It’s too soon for the White Sox to determine buy or sell status before the trade deadline.

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White Sox general manager Rick Hahn talks Monday in Chicago.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn talks to reporters before the team’s game against the Angels on Monday in Chicago.

Daryl Van Schouwen/Sun-Times

The thing about playing in the weak American League Central is you can be bad and still be good enough to be in contention.

The same thing goes for self-evaluation as the Aug. 1 trade deadline becomes something to consider, usually around the time Memorial Day rolls around.

The White Sox are trending in a better direction with eight wins in their previous 13 games entering the game Monday night against the Angels, a better look than their “unbearable” 7-21 start.

That was general manager Rick Hahn’s word Monday.

“It’s tough to get much worse than April,” Hahn said.

“But we still have a lot of work to do, and we know that. We’re not playing at the level we’re capable of just yet.”

The Sox still have time to make a case that they are playoff-worthy. They haven’t shown many signs of that, though, and haven’t for long-enough stretches. They haven’t won more than three games in a row.

That doesn’t sound like the stuff buyers at the trade deadline are made of. But the Sox were 6½ games behind the first-place Twins before the game.

“Let’s wait until we get closer until we have to make that decision,” Hahn said. “I assure you any decisions like that, we’ll be sitting out here to explain it fully. What was motivating us, whether it’s add, stick, subtract, and we’ll explain exactly why. Memorial Day? Fortunately we don’t have to make that decision today, and there’s a lot of baseball to be played before we get to that point.”

Hahn said Sox scouts and analysts already are making preparations for whatever direction the front office decides to go closer to the trade deadline.

“But from a performance standpoint, we know we’re capable of more,” he said. “We need to see that consistency soon.”

What’s wrong with the Sox?

Few are the days when the Sox hit, pitch and play defense well all at once, but Hahn pointed to offense as the biggest issue.

“We haven’t shown the offensive profile this team is capable of,” he said. “The stretches of solid defense and solid starting pitching and relief work are more consistent with who we think we are, but only in a couple weeks of the season. We need to see more.”

Thoughts from the chairman?

Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf doesn’t speak publicly about the team but attends most home games. And he speaks with Hahn. The two were locked in conversation behind the plate a couple of hours before the game.

“Very similar to what we are getting from the fans and getting from people who are hugely and emotionally invested in the performance of this club,” Hahn said when asked how Reinsdorf feels about his team. “There’s a level of frustration, certainly the start being unbearable, and as of late wanting to see more consistency when we perform well in a certain area and why we are not clicking in others and wanting to know how we are going to get better at it.”

Lambert to IL

Right-hander Jimmy Lambert went on the 15-day injured list with ankle inflammation, making room for Liam Hendriks’ return to the team.

Prospect news

Top shortstop prospect Colson Montgomery, who has been sidelined with back problems since spring training, has begun baseball activities at extended spring training. First-round left-hander Noah Schultz (forearm) will be activated at Low-A Kannapolis soon, Hahn said.

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