Tuesday, March 21, 2023

White Sox Storylines Heading Into Spring Training


The Chicago White Sox have certainly had some turnover in their organization this offseason, some for the better, some for the worse, while fans are still left scratching their head over some of the inaction as we now get closer to the start of spring training.

After winning the American League Central Division in convincing fashion in 2021, the White Sox were viewed as one of the World Series favorites to begin the 2022 season. Well, after a disappointing season that saw the White Sox finish 81-81 and miss the playoffs, the team now has to prove to fans that the talent on paper can live up to expectations on the field.

Here are some of the storylines for the White Sox that we talked about on the latest Pinwheels And Ivy Podcast.

White Sox Starting Right Fielder

Outfield prospect Oscar Colas was mentioned by Rick Hahn as a possible candidate to be the team’s starting right fielder in 2023 early in the offseason and when you look at the team not making a major addition for that position this winter he’s probably a safe bet to be the guy. Colas was great in the minors last season, ending his first pro year in the states posting an .895 OPS. However, there has been talk about the team wanting to see Colas get more seasoning at Triple-A, where Colas only played in seven games at the end of 2022.

At 24-years-old, Colas is an older prospect, and one topic of conversation on the Pinwheels And Ivy Podcast was if the White Sox should give him the starting job no matter what out of camp or should his performance during spring training dictate his status on the Opening Day roster?

White Sox Starting Second Baseman

There is no way that Leury García is going to be the starting second baseman on Opening Day, right? White Sox fans still can’t believe Rick Hahn didn’t address the giant, gaping hole at second base this past offseason via free agency and by now it seems like the team will rely on one of their minor leaguers to begin the season as the starting second baseman. It’s Romy González vs. Lenyn Sosa in the main card, while Hanser Alberto, Erik Gonzalez and I guess Leury are on the undercard as potential players to sneak in and earn playing time at second base.

Lots of what ifs in that group and even more hope when it comes to any of them working out long term.

Starting Rotation Depth

The White Sox were bailed out in 2022 by Johnny Cueto, who was a lot better than anyone could have ever imagined. The veteran right-hander eventually signed with the Miami Marlins this offseason, while the White Sox quickly signed Mike Clevinger at the start of free agency. The former San Diego Padre and Cleveland Guardian was seen as an OK option for the rotation, providing some upside due to some of his previous success, but now the White Sox are wondering how long Clevinger will be suspended for as MLB continues its investigation of domestic violence allegations made toward the pitcher.

There were already questions about the White Sox pitching rotation even before the league’s investigation of Clevinger was made public. Who knows when MLB will make its decision on Clevinger and how the White Sox will respond. Less than two weeks away from spring training and a month after the allegations toward Clevinger were made known to everyone, the White Sox have not elected to go out and sign another starting pitcher with a track record in MLB.

It looks like Davis Martin is the next man up in case of emergency and then the options get more questionable beyond him if the White Sox face any more adversity in the rotation this year.

Can the White Sox Finally Stay Healthy

Even when the White Sox won the AL Central in 2021, they had to battle through some injuries. And yes, every team has to deal with them, but it does seem like the White Sox have been extremely snake bitten when it comes to their star players going down with injuries all the time.

We have seen glimpses of the White Sox being healthy, or at least the majority of them being healthy at the same time and they’ve been great. But of course, staying healthy has been far from a given with this team and it’s not just two or three guys not be able to stay on the field because you can point to third base, shortstop catcher, center field and where ever you want to slot Eloy Jimenez into, all those guys have dealt with injuries for long stretches of time in the past two seasons.

So, hopefully the White Sox can finally be healthy, or at least avoid major injuries in 2023 because as much as they’ve underachieved, there is a lot of talent on this team.

What other things are you focused on with the White Sox heading into spring training? Let us know in the comments and make sure to tune into the Pinwheels And Ivy Podcast.

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