Chicago White Sox

Lucas Giolito's Unprecedented Shift From Horrible to Unhittable

In 2018, Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox did something no pitcher had done in a decade: He recorded an earned run average higher than 6 in more than 170 innings of work.

And though he also struggled in a short major league stint with the Washington Nationals in 2016 — a hiccup that may have led to the decision to include him in a trade for Adam Eaton — the raw potential was always there.

Although none of them came close to matching Giolito’s single-season turnaround, a few serve as precedents for a young pitcher surviving a terrible season and eventually becoming a star.

Before a terrific run as an ace for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chris Carpenter was a terrible young pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.CreditAaron Harris/Associated Press

His performance going forward will be crucial for the White Sox, a team that is making the old Boston Braves saying of “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain” — implying the club had only two good starters — seem luxurious.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B9 of the New York edition with the headline: A White Sox Pitcher Shifts From Horrible to Unhittable.

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