The Chicago White Sox played their final spring training game against the Rockies on Tuesday. Moreover, it is officially time to get ready for White Sox baseball.
The White Sox are coming off of a season where they made their first playoff appearance since 2008. However, the White Sox have higher goals this season than to just make the playoffs.
“We’re just really, really good. And we know we are,” Ace of the pitching staff Lucas Giolito said. “Our rotation, I think we’re super nasty. The bullpen, best in the league. The expectations are high from outside sources, but also internally. And we own that.”
The team did take a big loss however in the loss of Eloy Jimenez. Jimenez ruptured his pectoral tendon on Mar. 24. The White Sox said Jimenez could miss about five months. It is a big blow to the White Sox lineup, but the team is good enough to still have a chance to win the AL.
The White Sox decided to play DH Andrew Vaughn in left field almost immediately after the severity of the injury came out. They are trying to convert Vaugh into a left-fielder as a result of Jimenez’s injury problems in the outfield.
The White Sox travel to Anaheim to face the Angels in their opening day game. Lucas Giolito will be on the mound facing Dylan Bundy. In spring training, Giolito picked up right where he left off recording a 0.87 WHIP and 1.17 ERA in 23 innings pitched. Giolito is not the only pitcher who had a notable spring training for the White Sox.
Dylan Cease had a tremendous spring after heating up at the end of last season. With new pitching coach Ethan Katz, the righty looks like he is starting to hit his potential. Before spring training, Yasmani Grandal said he could win the Cy Young while Katz called him “untouchable”. This spring Cease put up a 0.77 ERA in 11 innings pitched. It was a very small sample size however, it should give him a lot of confidence going forward.
Another White Sox pitcher who may be turning his career around is Carlos Rodon. After years of injuries, many people the former third overall pick’s run with the White Sox was over. The White Sox surprisingly signed him to a one-year, $3 million deal this offseason. Katz noticed some issues with Rodon’s mechanics before spring training began. He may be on to something with the change in mechanics, as Rodon recorded a 0.732 WHIP and 1.32 ERA this spring. If the White Sox can get production from their fourth and fifth guys that is anything remotely close to how they’ve pitched this spring, the team will be in great shape regardless of Jimenez’s injury.
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