Everything has been going right for the Chicago White Sox so far this spring training. There have been no significant injuries, their young prospects are performing above expectations, and the team appears finally ready to compete. One of the key reasons why the team appears ready to compete for the playoffs is because of the names no longer on the roster.
The White Sox have been mired in a rebuild since December of 2016 when they trade their best pitcher and one of their best position players for a group of young, talented prospects. For the next three seasons, the White Sox had backup players penciled in as starters and pitchers whose sole purpose was to eat innings. The goal was to be as bad as possible to obtain higher draft picks while acquiring young talent. General manager Rick Hahn succeeded in his plan as it appears that it will come to fruition.
White Sox fans saw position players like Wellington Castillo, Yolmer Sachez, Matt Davidson, and Adam Engel start day after day. These players most likely would have been bench players on playoff-competitive teams. The player who performed above expectations gave fans hope that the team found hidden gems for the rebuild. Nicky Delmonico and Daniel Palka were those players who flashed but never remained consistent enough to be deserving of a starting spot.
For the first time in a long time, Chicago will begin the season with a five-man starting rotation in place. The past three years featured veteran pitchers past their prime brought in as innings-eaters and to show the younger pitchers how to be professional. Derek Holland, James Shields, Mike Pelfrey, and Ivan Nova were these veteran starters. The starters in the 2020 rotation are here with the sole purpose of getting the team closer to a championship with every inning mattering.
Pitchers who were here just to save the team money are gone as Dylan Covey, Ross Detwiler, Irvin Santana, and Manny Banuelos are no longer on the roster. Fans cringed when hearing that one of these pitchers would be starting the next game. Also gone are journeymen relievers like Joakim Soria, Hector Santiago, Tyler Clippard, and Bruce Rodon.
Players like these are no longer on the roster, and the few that remain in the organization, are not expected to be on the opening day roster. It demonstrates just how far the team has come in the last three seasons and shows how they are committed to winning now. Players like Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu make up the roster for the foreseeable future.