HomeTrending MLB NewsPredicting the White Sox Opening Day Roster

Predicting the White Sox Opening Day Roster

Opening Day is coming up soon, and the White Sox have some lingering questions on the final 26-man roster to start the season. With Dylan Cease traded and Michael Kopech moving to the bullpen, the rotation isn’t set outside of Garrett Crochet being named the Opening Day starter. Since they spent money on Erick Fedde and Chris Flexen, they will claim two of those four spots. Their recent trade netting Michael Soroka will grab another spot. They decided to option Jared Shuster, who also came in that trade, and their own Davis Martin, who is coming off Tommy John surgery. That leaves the final spot open between five players on both the 40-man roster and on minor league deals. My suggestion initially has been keeping Touki Toussaint in the rotation, but his spring training hasn’t gone well, and he recently has been DFA’d. The more immediate option will be a player on the 40-man roster who came over to the team at the trade deadline last season for Joe Kelly/Lance Lynn – Nick Nastrini (whose ERA is 0.82 with 11 strikeouts in eleven innings).

The bullpen is going to be the biggest mystery, due to all of the players they brought into camp this spring. Tanner Banks and Kopech are the only obvious choices, and with the change to 26 players from 25 they could go with 7, or even 8, relievers if they really wanted to. They also gave major league deals to John Brebbia and Tim Hill, so both seem to be a lock. However, only one has pitched enough to narrow down a decision.

The other four veteran options are Joe Barlow, Corey Knebel (who hasn’t even pitched really), Dominic Leone (has been great so far) and Bryan Shaw (who didn’t start off well, but has pitched far better recently). The talent displayed this spring by Deivi Garcia and newly acquired Steven Wilson (from the Cease deal) shows they should be locks too. Jordan Leasure, who they acquired in the Dodger trade along with Nastrini, has pitched lights out the entire spring and will assuredly have a spot in the bullpen. Jimmy Lambert, a long reliever, has been injured. The final spot could come down to Leone or Shaw. There could be two spots open for Leon and a long reliever if they do not go with five bench players.

The starting position players are mostly set with Yoan Moncada, Paul Dejong, Nicky Lopez, Andrew Vaughn, Eloy Jimenez, Andrew Benintendi, and Luis Robert. The catching will be split between new veterans Martin Maldonado and either Max Stassi or Korey Lee, who has had a great spring training. However, because of the recent injury to Stassi, Lee will most likely make the team.

Dominic Fletcher will be their new right fielder, but the question is will he be good enough to play every day? It would make sense to have two backup outfielders. Kevin Pillar is a lock to be the fourth outfielder, the question will be does he platoon with Fletcher, or do they have two backup outfielders like Mark Peyton or newly signed Robbie Grossman? Based on spring training it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Pillar and Grossman both make the roster, so Gavin Sheets, who is a lock, plays zero games in the outfield.

The next question will be who wins the backup infield spot? Lenyn Sosa was optioned, so that clears a path for one of the three backup infielders to make the team. It’s between Danny Mendick (who has recently returned to the club), Zach Remillard, and Braden Shewmake (who they received in the Atlanta trade). Based on the spring training numbers it would be Remillard, but without having to add more players to the 40-man roster (that is already full), it will most likely be Shewmake. They may have to add 2-4 guys to the 40-man roster to make room for the players making the team, which would suggest they go with guys they already have on the roster.

The roster on opening day will most likely be:

Outfielders: Benintendi, Robert, Fletcher, Jimenez, Pillar and Grossman.

Infielders: Moncada, DeJong, Lopez, Vaughn, Sheets and Shewmake.

Catchers: Maldonado and Lee.

Starters: Crochet, Fedde, Soroka, Flexen and Nastrini.

Relievers: Banks, Kopech, Hill, Brebbia, Wilson, Garcia and Leone.

Jeff Stine
Jeff Stinehttps://mlbreport.com/
Host of three podcasts: On The Radar, Off the Radar & Radar's MMQB. CEO of On The Radar Entertainment blog. Host of two YouTube shows on movie reviews and baseball observations.


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