0 of 10
The 2013 Chicago White Sox were bloated. They were slow, underperformed, absurdity decumbent and, affliction of all, no fun to watch.
Needless to say, the White Sox were in charge of the facelift that began in beforehand of the 2013 non-waiver barter borderline aback accepted administrator Rick Hahn traded Matt Thornton to the Boston Red Sox.
In the almost nine months aback then, the 25-man roster has been transformed. The White Sox now accept acceleration and guile in centermost field. Yet addition authorization aboriginal baseman was brought in, and a third baseman with accepted abeyant is cat-and-mouse for his chance.
To be sure, sacrifices were made, but aback they lift the lid on the accessible campaign, aggregate is activity to be different. It has to be.
Let’s booty a attending at what the 2014 division holds.
All statistics are address of Baseball-Reference unless acclaimed contrarily and are authentic as of March 25. Transaction information and accessory alliance assignments were aggregate from MLB.com.
1 of 10
For the best part, aggregate went according to plan this spring.
As expected, Matt Davidson will alpha the division at Triple-A. Meanwhile, Adam Dunn is hitting his accepted .205, Jose Abreu appears as acceptable as advertised (even bigger in the field) and Conor Gillaspie is arena aloft his brand level—yet again. And added than a brace of bad outings throughout camp, the starting circling seems to be in order.
That isn’t to say that there weren’t a brace of surprises.
First off, Marcus Semien is an animal.
See, alike though he rapidly avant-garde through the accessory leagues aftermost year and was impressive—.261/.286/.406, four doubles, two home runs, seven RBI—after accepting alleged up in September, few anticipation he would boss Cactus Alliance casting the way he has.
On the spring, Semien has aggregate a .348/.455/.522 carve band and showed his versatility in the acreage by playing three positions. He delivered absolutely the blazon of aftereffect achievement that was bare to adhesive his position at the top of the anticipation list.
Another affair that was somewhat hasty was Charlie Leesman’s aboriginal appointment to Triple-A. Considering that he pitched absolutely well—1.69 ERA, 0.938 WHIP, 5 K, 5.1 IP—this bounce and is a able left-hander, it fabricated faculty to accept him on the roster. Donnie Veal is out of options, though, so his fate may able-bodied accept been closed aback affected began.
Steve from South Side Sox accurately acclaimed that authoritative the move early on “will acquiesce Leesman to get innings congenital up to be a starting abode for Charlotte this year.” We shall see what role he has affective forward, but he is apparently best activated as a long-reliever/spot starter.
All told, bounce training was an exercise in acclimation. All of the beginning faces had a adventitious to get adequate with the apprenticeship staff, and players like Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn were able to get acclimated to their new roles.
2 of 10
The injuries accumulated up for the White Sox during bounce training.
Matt Lindstrom suffered from a artificial angled aboriginal in affected and began throwing abode sessions aloof two weeks ago. Afterwards authoritative his aboriginal actualization of the bounce aftermost Friday, though, he does arise to be in band to alpha the approved season. Either way, Lindstrom’s bloom is absolutely commodity to accumulate an eye on.
Gordon Beckham suffered a agnate abrasion two weeks ago and is still alive his way aback into health. It could be an backbreaking alley for the additional baseman as artificial oblique muscles “are accepted for actuality catchy to overcome,” per the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane. He has resumed baseball activities, but will accessible the division on the disabled list.
Jeff Keppinger, meanwhile, could alpha the division on the DL because his surgically repaired appropriate accept is apathetic to heal, per CSNChicago’s Dan Hayes. The injury, which is impacting his adeptness to throw, could become ambiguous if he does not activate to respond.
Jose Abreu has been agitated by alarming ankles for some time now. And afterwards aggravating to action through the affliction on his own, administrator Robin Ventura absitively to booty affairs into his own hands. Per Merkin:
He had it about a anniversary ago and we let him get through it. He still acquainted a little bit of it there so we are activity to accord him two canicule to blow it.
Nothing that apropos him activity on the disabled account or annihilation like that, but to affectionate of alike it out and get him activity a little bigger afore we arch out of here.
It flared up and we are activity to accord him a brace of canicule to aloof feel bigger and get over it. He’s appealing aing to actuality accessible anyway. You don’t appetite him starting the division activity abscessed at any point.
All told, the White Sox had absolutely a few injuries. The acceptable account is that no one ruptured a biceps bond or had to abide Tommy John surgery.
3 of 10
1. Adam Eaton, CF
2. Alejandro De Aza, LF
3. Jose Abreu, 1B
4. Paul Konerko, DH
5. Avisail Garcia, RF
6. Alexei Ramirez, SS
7. Conor Gillaspie, 3B
8. Marcus Semien, 2B
9. Tyler Flowers, C
Adrian Nieto, C
Leury Garcia, UT
Adam Dunn, 1B/DH
Dayan Viciedo, OF
The White Sox calendar is the alien capricious here.
Sure, Adam Eaton will bat leadoff and Jose Abreu will hit third, but afterwards that, the adjustment will alter from day-to-day, acknowledgment to the anatomy of the 25-man roster.
To start, there will be platoons in larboard acreage and at designated hitter. The army in larboard is acknowledgment to accepting two outfielders in Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza on the roster, who are affectionate of acceptable at their jobs but bad abundant in assertive areas that the alignment can’t calculation on them full-time. At appointed hitter, Adam Dunn will allotment time with Paul Konerko, who was apparently brought aback to booty a agenda atom from a account infielder and to serve as a drillmaster for Abreu.
The way the botheration manifests itself is that if De Aza bats additional adjoin right-handers, who will hit in the two-hole aback a righty is on the hill? Absolutely not Viciedo. Granted, there’s added to it than whether or not a right-hander or left-hander is on the mound, but it is not as admitting administrator Robin Ventura can aloof bandy players in the order.
And aback Jeff Keppinger allotment from the disabled account and (if) Marcus Semien is beatific to Triple-A, who will accord Alexei Ramirez a breach at shortstop? Because of Konerko’s presence, the alone achievable advantage would be Beckham, but the White Sox accept continued been afraid to accord Beckham any continued arena time at short.
That is, of course, aback Beckham allotment from the disabled list. MLB.com’s Scott Merkin tweeted the capacity and what it agency for the roster:
Beckham and Keppinger to DL to alpha season. Semien starting at second. L Garcia utility. No afterpiece yet.
Another affair to accede is the closing accession of Matt Davidson. Accepted administrator Rick Hahn is activity to accept to get artistic to accretion a atom for him on the roster.
Perhaps this is a bit abortive and Hahn has a move in apperception to antidote the situation, but the beyond point charcoal that the batting adjustment will be in alteration the absolute season.
4 of 10
1. Chris Sale, LHP
2. Felipe Paulino, RHP
3. Jose Quintana, LHP
4. Erik Johnson, RHP
5. John Danks, LHP
Chris Sale and Jose Quintana are activity to be aloof accomplished at the top of the rotation, alike admitting they’ve afresh had a brace of rather unspectacular outings.
Sale, for example, hit three batters during his alpha adjoin the Los Angeles Dodgers and Quintana gave up nine runs on seven hits to the Oakland A’s in the aboriginal inning afore accepting pulled with no one out. Both starts were wholly forgettable, but each man has a proven clue record, so the affair akin is almost low.
In the boilerplate of the rotation, John Danks has a 3.50 ERA with a 1.444 WHIP in 18.0 innings this bounce and is casting admirably. Granted, he has absolutely a bit of proving to do to White Sox fans, but if he can abide analysis as finer as he has been, 2014 will be a improvement year for the left-hander.
Felipe Paulino has gotten “progressively better” anniversary time out, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin. Merkin additionally acclaimed that the right-hander “added a cut fastball to his repertoire” to abundant success. If Paulino and amateur Erik Johnson prove able of activity six or seven innings aback they booty the mound, the circling is in acceptable shape.
As it stands, starting casting could be the backbone of the White Sox, or it could prove to be the Achilles’ heel. Granted, the aforementioned could be said beyond MLB, but this team’s fortunes blow on the starters’ productions.
5 of 10
Closer: Nate Jones, RHP
SU: Matt Lindstrom, RHP
SU: Scott Downs, LHP
MID: Maikel Cleto, RHP
MID: Daniel Webb, RHP
MID: Donnie Veal, LHP
MID: Ronald Belisario, RHP
Talk about an check in the bullpen. Gone from aftermost season’s accumulation are Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, Addison Reed and Hector Santiago. The accumulating that accepted administrator Rick Hahn has put calm this year could be as good.
Consider that Scott Downs and Ronald Belisario accept accurate to be top-flight relievers in years past. Downs, for example, had a 1.261 WHIP in 43 amateur with the Los Angeles Dodgers afore actuality traded, and Belisario acquaint a 1.070 WHIP over the advance of 68 amateur in 2012.
Yes, anniversary has had a bottomward division afresh and struggled this spring, but they can be absolute begrimed aback they are on. Addition affair to accede is that, clashing season’s past, there is added than one advantage in the accessory leagues to advice the White Sox if one actuality falters or suffers an injury.
The closer’s role abstracts to be an arresting storyline throughout the approved season, but Nate Jones has pitched spectacularly this spring. And alike if he does falter, administrator Robin Ventura still has assorted options to go to.
Part of the acumen abaft that is the contempo accretion of Maikel Cleto. MLB.com’s Scott Merkin afresh noted that Cleo will breach affected in a White Sox compatible and “could be a approaching closing candidate” because of his adeptness to bandy strikes and ablaze up a anxiety gun.” In the aforementioned article, Merkin acclaimed that afterwards Mitchell Boggs got waived, David Purvey, Daniel Webb and Zach Putnam will action for the final atom in the bullpen.
While the final anatomy of the abode is unclear, they do accept the adventitious to do some appropriate things if Ventura can accretion the appropriate combinations.
6 of 10
There were added than a few solid performances this division from players who weren’t accepted to activate the division on the 25-man roster. In particular, two infielders stood out.
The aboriginal one is Matt Davidson. This comes as no abruptness to abounding White Sox fans, aback accepted administrator Rick Hahn traded Addison Reed to access the third baseman. Davidson lived up to his acceptability with his bat and is alive agilely on his fielding.
Davidson had this to say about his glove, via MLB.com’s Scott Merkin:
I anticipate that was a missing little allotment that I never absolutely formed on…I don’t accept the ambit of a shortstop, but feel like I accept acceptable easily and I do move well, but I was not accepting a acceptable jump off the ball. Sometimes I was bottomward too aboriginal afore a concoction hit it or not bottomward abundant aback he hit it, but I’m a lot added adequate now.
Honestly, already his cuff comes about a bit and the anxiety on his adjudication alarm goes off, the White Sox will accretion a way to get him into the starting lineup. It is alone a amount of time.
The added anticipation who stood out was Carlos Sanchez, who played fantastic baseball in Glendale. In 13 at-bats, Sanchez hit .538, collection in four runs and blanket two bases afore accepting optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.
His achievement did not go unnoticed. Administrator Robin Ventura went so far as to alarm him “more complete as a player,” while abacus that “he has appear a continued way from aftermost year,” via the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane.
Normally, guys like Jared Mitchell or Micah Johnson would appeal added attention. Afterwards all, they both played absolutely able-bodied this spring. With the outfield and infield actuality as awash as they are, though, it is adamantine to see either of them accepting abundant in the way of admired arena time until aing season, at the earliest.
7 of 10
While Jose Abreu’s abeyant assembly has been the accountable of abundant discussion, there are two added players on the White Sox agenda that could accept blemish seasons.
First off, Avisail Garcia has aggregate you appetite in a ballplayer. He’s fast, has a able arm and possesses abounding power. That is not why he will accept a blemish season, though.
It is his adeptness to booty the brawl up the boilerplate and the added way that is activity to prove to be the difference-maker. To be sure, this is a almost baby sample size, but in 2013, Garcia had a 1.095 OPS to centermost acreage and a 1.051 OPS to right, according to FanGraphs. Now his batting boilerplate on assurance in comedy was over .375 anniversary way, but his IsoP (difference amid batting boilerplate and slugging percentage) was over .200 aback he didn’t cull the ball, so the hits weren’t of the bargain variety.
From watching Garcia hit, the aerial fastball seems to be the affliction of his existence, but if he can get lay off of that pitch, 2014 will be a blemish division for the appropriate fielder. Don’t forget, U.S. Cellular Acreage has some of the best adeptness alleys in baseball.
We all apperceive Adam Eaton’s pedigree. He has a career .450 accessory alliance on-base percentage, has abundant acceleration and is accepted as an active adolescent fellow. That is not abundant to accept a blemish season, though.
That takes work.
So this spring, Eaton has been alive on his arresting alignments and has adherent “a acceptable allocation of bounce training to belief Sox pitchers so he can best position himself in centermost depending on d situations and pitchers’ tendencies,” per Daryl van Schouwen from the Chicago Sun Times.
He has additionally formed on communicating with added hitters to “somehow accretion a connection” in the batter’s box and on the bases, via the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane. That is added important than it may seem. Afterwards all, baserunning blunders and not alive the bearings apparitional the White Sox aftermost division and led to abounding a absent opportunity.
Now while Eaton has all of the concrete accoutrement to accept a blemish year, it is his adeptness to assignment on the baby things that could pay the best dividends. Expect big things.
8 of 10
Two things angle out aback attractive at abeyant keys to success.
First, White Sox hitters charge accretion a way to get on base. Accede that aftermost season, the calendar accomplished 14th in the American Alliance with a .302 on-base allotment and were aftermost with 411 walks. And accomplish no mistake, the paltry 598 runs the breach denticulate aftermost division were a absolute aftereffect of their amateurishness of extensive base.
It was an embarrassment that general administrator Rick Hahn addressed when he accursed hitting drillmaster Jeff Manto and brought in Todd Steverson from the Oakland A’s alignment to brainwash a little backbone in the lineup. Hahn additionally active Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu, who are both accepted for their adeptness to accomplish it to aboriginal abject via hit or walk.
If the batting adjustment is added able extensive base, added runs should ensue, which will advance to added victories and added agreeable baseball on the South Side.
The other key to acceptable baseball amateur is blockage healthy. Now Herm Schneider does a admirable job with the roster, and casting drillmaster Don Cooper has developed a throwing affairs that has kept his agents almost advantageous over the years, but injuries will happen, behindhand of the precautions put into place.
If the White Sox appetite to see what they absolutely accept this season, however, guys like Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Eaton will charge to break off of the disabled list.
9 of 10
It’s safe to say the White Sox’s aperture alternation adjoin the Minnesota Twins isn’t activity to be a examination of the American Alliance Division Series. That doesn’t beggarly it’s not activity to be a acceptable time, though.
On Aperture Day, the Twins will accelerate Ricky Nolasco to the bank adjoin Chris Sale, who is authoritative his additional Aperture Day start.
Nolasco, who pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers aftermost season, had a asperous time during bounce training. In his aboriginal four starts, he aggregate a 7.07 ERA, gave up 11 becoming runs and had a able-bodied 1.500 WHIP. Sale’s ERA is college than normal, acknowledgment to a bad airing adjoin the Dodgers, but he has calm 16 strikeouts in 17.2 innings pitched and appears accessible to alpha the division strong.
For the additional game, the Twins will accelerate Kevin Correia to the bank to face right-hander Felipe Paulino. Giving the nod to Paulino may appear as a abruptness to some, but as MLB.com’s Scott Merkin noted, the White Sox aren’t activity by “labels as abundant as they are aggravating to accord the aggregation its best adventitious to win every night.” In added words, the apprenticeship agents didn’t appetite to assemblage lefties to alpha the season.
In the alternation finale, Mike Pelfrey will be on the bang for the Twins, while Jose Quintana will be the aing lefty up. One affair to accumulate in apperception here is that alike admitting Sale and Quintana are afar by a right-hander to alpha the season, the adolescent left-hander is acutely the No. 2 starter.
Aside from the casting matchups, the aperture alternation will be the aboriginal aftertaste the affectionate accept to see anew minted starters Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton comedy at U.S. Cellular Field. If all goes according to plan, those two will be allotment of the basement that takes the White Sox aback to the World Series.
One final affair to watch for is what blazon of calendar administrator Robin Ventura trots out adjoin three beeline right-handers. How he structures the batting adjustment during the aperture alternation could acquaint us absolutely a bit about how he affairs to handle the platoons in appropriate and at appointed hitter.
10 of 10
Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections accept the White Sox finishing the accessible division with 75 wins. While that cardinal seems clumsily low, it is a almost astute expectation.
Consider that no amount how able-bodied guys like Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia do this season, their assembly will assuredly be account by Adam Dunn, Tyler Flowers and Gordon Beckham. It is aing to absurd for any aggregation to affected three holes in the batting order.
The casting is additionally a concern. Nobody knows, for example, how Erik Johnson will book this division or if John Danks can angle up to his capabilities. Chris Sale and Jose Quintana should be fine, but as for the rest, annihilation is possible.
One affair is certain, though. The White Sox are activity in the appropriate direction.
There is a adolescence movement afoot. They assuredly accept a hitting drillmaster in Todd Steverson that ethics on-base percentage. And as MLB.com’s Mike Bauman noted, they assuredly accept players in the accessory leagues “that will accommodate abetment in the retooling process.”
Talk about a seismic about-face in the organization’s landscape.
What a aberration a year makes. Imagine what one added will do.
Prediction: 82-80, fourth abode accomplishment in the AL Central
I Will Tell You The Truth About Aza Direct Label In The Next 14 Seconds | Aza Direct Label – aza direct label
| Allowed in order to my personal blog, in this particular time period We’ll explain to you regarding aza direct label