High expectations and positive energy spark the beginning of the 2021 MLB season for the Chicago White Sox.
The club officially began spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ last Wednesday, and things are already off to a good start. The new members of the White Sox pitching staff are all fitting in with ease. The team got to see Liam Hendriks in a White Sox uniform for the first time. After getting the final out to end the season for the White Sox in 2020, Hendriks joined the team in 2021. Hendriks shared his praise for the team.
“This is gonna be a good group of guys, a fun group of guys, and the fact that they’re young with the mixture of veterans, this is the makeup that you want to have on paper leading into a season,” Hendriks said. Additionally, Hendriks has made a good connection with catcher Yasmani Grandal. The two players shared high praise for one another. Grandal, who went 2/2 off Hendriks including a home run in the playoffs told Hendriks it was because he was tipping his pitches. Grandal has already helped Hendriks disguise his pitches better. Along with that, Hendriks called Grandal “the best defensive catcher in baseball.”
Furthermore, Grandal had high praise for pitcher Dylan Cease: “If we get him to where we see him going, this guy can be a Cy Young finalist… possibly a Cy Young winner,” Grandal said. “He’s got the tools to do it. There’s no doubt in that.” Dylan Cease is finally starting to get some confidence, something he was lacking early in his career. Having a catcher like Yasmani Grandal certainly helps that. Cease talked about how his confidence is at an all-time high. Another member with high praise for Cease is newly acquired pitching coach Ethan Katz who called him “untouchable”.
Katz is another new member who White Sox fans are optimistic about. He has some experience with the White Sox, as he was Lucas Giolito‘s coach in high school. In his press conference, he talked about reliever Aaron Bummer‘s sinker calling it the most impressive thing he has ever seen. Another thing he added was his relationship with new manager Tony La Russa. He constantly stressed how the two have been on the same page since day one.
La Russa was a very controversial hiring, but he is fitting in perfectly with the team so far. One of the reasons the hiring was so controversial, was the mystery of how he would fit in with such a young team. However, the all-charismatic Tim Anderson has nothing but respect for the Hall of Famer. “That drive to win. He has that. I’m behind him 110 percent,” Anderson said.
La Russa knows how good this team is, especially their ace Lucas Giolito. He talked about his admiration for Lucas Giolito’s work ethic. “You know Lance Lynn his first throw, Lucas came out to watch it,” La Russa said. “That really gave me just a great feeling about where his head and his heart are.”
There is endless positive energy heading into the season for the White Sox, and with that comes expectations. The team knows it has one goal and that is to win a World Series. “Those pictures are getting old,” said Tim Anderson when talking about the 2005 World Series pictures at Camelback Ranch. Eloy Jimenez also talked about his expectations for the team: “If last year we were good, this year we’re going to be better.” Another player who talked about their expectations for the season was Lucas Giolito. “Playoffs are expected at this point,” Giolito said. “I think at this point… it’s World Series or bust kinda atmosphere.”
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