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2024 White Sox Preview

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The Chicago White Sox finished 26 games out of first place with 101 losses, finishing in 4th place; their first 100+ loss season since 2018 and their fifth in franchise history. Things can only go up from here, hopefully, with the new regime of GM Chris Getz along with new hires Josh Barfield and Brian Bannister added to the front office. The coaching staff changed as well with Marcus Thames now the hitting coach, Matt Wise the bullpen coach, Jason Bourgeois their first base-outfield coach, and Drew Butera as their catching coach, Grady Sizemore will also be on Pedro Grifol’s staff.

Their pitching staff will also be different after trading away most of their veterans at the deadline last year and cutting closer Liam Hendriks. They still have Dylan Cease who is still their ace but could be traded at any moment and Michael Kopech if he stays healthy. They also added two pitchers from the Aaron Bummer trade in Jared Shuster and Michael Soroka. Additionally, they signed former KBO All-Star-MVP-CY Young pitcher Erick Fedde, and added Chris Flexen who may prove to be a better reliever than starter. Those four will compete with Touki Toussaint, Garrett Crotchet and Chad Kuhl for the final three spots which is a huge difference from last season. The past few seasons they had little pitching depth and had to settle for bullpen games or find rejects off the street to eat up innings. While the overall pitching quality may be lacking, their depth will help the team out in the second half when they trade away some of their useful pieces or have to overcome injuries.

The bullpen will be their biggest question mark as it’s on the thin side after trading away their veterans at last year’s deadline, plus they just traded their closer Gregory Santos to Seattle. They also are rushing Crotchet into the rotation after overcoming major surgery (Tommy John) instead of easing him in as their set up man or closer. They are going to have to rely on their low cost veteran signings with the hopes of high rewards with Tim Hill, John Brebbia, Jesse Chavez, Bryan Shaw, Joe Barlow, Corey Knebel, Dominic Leone, and Jake Woodford. That does not scream quality bullpen arms, but it’s a better strategy then over paying for veteran relievers who either get injured or just don’t perform. If any of these relievers pitch well enough they can flip them at the deadline for prospects.

On the offensive side it will be the same as has it been in previous seasons with the health of core players such as DH Eloy Jimenez, CF Luis Robert and 3B Yoan Moncada. The key to their offensive success will be on those three plus 1B Andrew Vaughn and LF Andrew Benintendi rebounding. They did add Dominic Fletcher and Zach DeLoach in trades to hopefully fix the right field problem. Veteran outfielders Kevin Pillar, Rafael Ortega and Brett Phillips were signed to minor league deals so no more backup center fielders as starting right fielders.

Their second base problem will probably not be entirely resolved with acquiring local guy Nicky Lopez but he is an excellent fielder. The offensive fix could be Lenyn Sosa getting full time reps to take advantage of his potential hitting ability. Their shortstop problem will be fixed on both sides of the ball with former All-Star and Gold Glover Paul DeJong taking Tim Anderson’s spot.

Another question is what is going on at the catcher position? They picked up Korey Lee last year based on his offensive capability and Yasmani Grandal is now gone. Why did they acquire two glove first catchers in Max Stassi and Martin Maldonado? Where is the offense going to come from?

The goal for this season should be about just being competitive since this division is still one of the worst in baseball. If the depth they have on the entire pitching staff works out, they can make some moves like last year’s deadline, which will help build towards a better future. The best they can hope to finish is third place. If they finish in last or lose 100 games again it will be of course another terrible season and the only bright spot will be the firing of Grifol.

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