Your 2015 Chicago White Sox will look a lot different than the teams of season’s past, with an abundance of new players and a new identity for 2015.
The question is what is that identity?
As of now, the BEST lineup the Sox can put out there looks like this:
- Eaton CF
- Bonifacio 2B
- Cabrera LF
- Abreu 1B/DH
- LaRoche DH/1B
- Garcia RF
- Gillaspie 3B
- Ramirez SS
- Flowers C
Rick Hahn has given Ventura a lineup with a lot of flexibility, along with assets on the bench. Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez will compete for time in the middle infield, while Viciedo can hit and fill a couple minor roles.
It will also be intriguing to see who breaks camp as Flowers’ backup, whether it’s Rob Brantley (claimed off waivers from Miami), Adrian Nieto, or newly signed veteran George Kotteras. Matt Davidson will also likely try to work himself into the picture at some point or another.
When Ozzie was managing the White Sox, this team was about small ball and getting guys on base, which worked in 2005 when they won a World Series; however, in arguably the most wide open division in baseball, small ball doesn’t always work in the AL Central.
Detroit always seems to find deeper pockets to pay for power whether it’s a big bat like Miguel Cabrera or a max pitcher like Justin Verlander. Kansas City is on the rise for the first time in 20 years and they’ve been built for sustained success. Cleveland is always scary, especially to the Sox, as they have a deep farm system and build from within versus spending their money. Minnesota is just, well, Minnesota. They had their time and they have a few bright spots, but nothing to write home about.
So, that leaves your 2015 White Sox…
What’s their identity?
Offensively, Emilio Bonifacio and Melky Cabrera suggest a small ball, high speed lineup, but Adam LaRoche and the retention of Dayan Viciedo suggests that power bats are still integral to this lineup. Jerry Reinsdorf has shown that he’s not shopping at the “Dollar Store” this offseason, after putting big money into David Robertson, Jeff Samardzija, Zach Duke, LaRoche, and Cabrera, but will all that spending be worth it? Or will this team crash and burn?
2015 will be an interesting season, but after having an identical record with the Cubs last season, Reinsdorf and Hahn spent the money this offseason and they hope it pays off.
Is it April yet?
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