The beauty of a new year, and a new baseball season, is the free gift of turning the page. To say goodbye to the past, recent or distant, and start anew.

As one might guess, Lucas Giolito is embracing it. The White Sox’s 81-81 finish last season was a stinker, and Giolito knows he was one of the many reasons why.

“For me, the biggest motivator is last year’s failure,” Giolito told the Sun-Times in a recent phone conversation. “Look in the mirror at the end of the season, in my own season and the team, not playing as expected. Work hard again in the offseason to right the ship.”

As Giolito gathered with his family in Atlanta for the holidays — Christmas, New Year’s and to celebrate the birthday of his grandmother who turns 100 on Dec. 29 — he went 11-9 with a 4.90 in an already better . ERA at the position was 30 in 2022 starts. After adding weight and muscle last offseason and tipping the scales at 280 pounds in spring training, the 6-6 Giolito is slimming down to 250-255 pounds.

“Back to the old me, I guess you could say,” Giolito said. “We tried something last season, and potentially I thought it worked out great. We’ll never really know if it was a good or bad move. It seemed to backfire.

In a 5–4 loss to Detroit on Opening Day, Giolito left with an abdominal strain that landed him on the injured list. He pitched four innings of one scoreless ball with six strikeouts.

“You never want that,” Giolito said. “My body hasn’t been as good as I’d like. The focus this offseason is to get leaner and stronger but move well, be an athlete. I want to replicate my mechanics, feel agile and fast Am.

A biomechanics evaluation this offseason revealed misfiring in his delivery, and a throwing program that reintroduced plyometric balls with a focus on “getting everything back in sync, my entire dynamic range” is going well. .

“I’m moving better, the ball is coming out better,” Giolito said.

In short, an off-season that also included an eye-opening trip to the Dominican Republic with Players for the Planet for a beach cleanup has been “fantastic”. It really is,” Giolito said.

The Sox need the best of Giolito to make their rotation championship-caliber. Until further notice, he no longer sits at the helm of a unit that includes Dylan Cease as anchors and Lance Lynn, Michael Kopech and free agent Mike Clevinger.

Giolito, who could become a free agent after the season, is not the only one under contract in 2024.

‘I try to live in the present,’ he said. “When it comes to free agency, if I’m sitting here thinking about it, that’s when you start thinking more. It’s not in my nature. I’m not pitching for a contract. I’m going to pitch for the Sox.” I’m pitching for, and I want to win every game that I get the ball. And let the chips fall when it’s all said and done. That’s my mindset.

“After the disappointment of last season it is going to be an important year for us. We have many new faces in the coaching staff including [new manager] pedro [Grifol], I put myself out there as someone who underperformed, we need to get back in good form to have a chance of winning. We are all very motivated.”

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