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South Side Sox 2021 Player of the Week (ending July 24): Lucas Giolito

The South Side pitcher wraps up a pair of starts into a Giolito burrito (coming soon to a grocery store near you!)

Mitch Ransdell/South Side Sox

Driving into Chicago on I-55, you pass dozens of billboards. They all blur together: a kaleidoscope of shredded, fading adverts for hair transplants and dispensaries.

Then, suddenly, he appears, like a fastball down and in.

Lucas Giolito makes a great poster boy. Guaranteed Rate is quick to capitalize on his transition from the dreary bottom of the heap to the no-hitter top, showing how the power of belief and sheer willpower can turn around a career, as Gio did in 2019 and 2020.

But a billboard is just a billboard, and 2021 has been a bit more complicated for the White Sox pitcher.

Giolito’s last appearance here was as Cactus League MVP, and his time on the mound since March has left him with a nearly balanced 8-7 record. But that belies a load of hard work and moments of pure fire.

Whether squaring up against Josh Donaldson in a war of words, or getting tossed by umpire Will Little after an argument from the bench, Giolito has managed to keep a steady trend upwards. His last two appearances allowed a total of two runs, including a complete game against Houston last week.

Gio’s recent start in Milwaukee was tainted by some abysmal umpiring, which led to the ejections of both Tony La Russa and Tim Anderson. But despite the obstacles, the Pale Hose pitcher held the Brewers to a single run through six innings.

Having Lucas back as our Player of the Week is like a timely billboard advertisement — an omen that our steady ace of 2019 and 2020 is alive, well, and ready to deal.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Mitch’s work, or if you’d like to purchase original drawings or prints, contact him via Twitter (@soxsketcher), Instagram (@southsidesharpie), or by e-mail at Thanks for supporting local artists!

2021 MVP Top 10

Carlos Rodón (91.7)
Lance Lynn (61.9)
Lucas Giolito (25.6)
Yasmani Grandal (22.4)
Dallas Keuchel (21.4)
Dylan Cease (20.3)
Michael Kopech (19.3)
Brian Goodwin (17.3)
Andrew Vaughn (17.0)
Tim Anderson (15.6)

2021 Cold Cat Bottom 10

Evan Marshall (-43.1)
Leury García (-35.7)
Codi Heuer (-35.0)
Yoán Moncada (-25.8)
Garrett Crochet (-25.7)
Aaron Bummer (-23.9)
Matt Foster (-22.4)
Yermín Mercedes (-18.9)
Liam Hendriks (-16.6)
José Ruiz (-13.0)

South Side Sox Writer Standings