We move onto #21 in our countdown on the South Side of Chicago with the White Sox.
Projected Record: 79-83 5th in the AL Central
Potential Lineup: CF Eaton #1, LF Cabrera #53, 1B Abreu #79, 3B Frazier #21, 2B Lawrie #TBD, DH LaRoche #25 RF A Garcia #26, C Avila #31, SS Saladino #18
Potential Rotation: 1.Sale #49, 2.Quintana #62, 3.Danks #50, 4.Rodon #55, 5.Latos #TBD
Potential Bullpen: CL Robertson #30, 8th Jones #65, 7th Duke #33 Mid Relief: Putnam #57, Petricka #52, Jennings #43, Turner #TBD
Potential Bench: C Navarro #TBD, OF Shuck #20,IF Olt #24, IF Sanchez #5
The offseason before the 2015 season the Chicago White Sox were super aggressive making splashy trades and big name signings however some of those moved did not pan out for the south siders as the team failed to finish above .500 in 2015. The main area of struggle for the White Sox a year ago was the offense. The Sox finished 28th in the majors in runs scored and had a lot of talented hitters suffer rough seasons. Melky Cabrera an offseason signing a year ago had a rough start to the season but got hot as the year ended, Adam LaRoche another offseason signing from 2015 struggled batting just .207 with only 12 home runs and 44 RBI’s, and the team got no production out of their catching tandem. That led the White Sox to make moves as they added two catchers former All Star Alex Avila, and veteran Dioner Navarro who should solve the Sox catching problem and provide more pop. As for other moves to improve the offense the White Sox traded for Brett Lawrie and 2015 All Star and Home Run Derby champ Todd Frazier to help improve a weak offense. All of these moves should help the Sox offense improve in 2016. As for the starting pitching the White Sox rotation finished 14th in the majors in starting ERA. The team did lose a talented arm in Jeff Samardzija to free agency this year but still have talent in the rotation with an ace in Chris Sale, a solid number two in Jose Quintana, and Carlos Rondon who was impressive in his rookie season posting an ERA under 4 and striking out 139 batters. The Sox rotation may miss Samardzija but if Rondon can continue to make strides and Sale and Quintana pitch as well as they usually do the Sox rotation should be pretty solid in 2016. As for the bullpen one of the biggest offseason moves the team made prior to 2015 was signing closer David Robertson away from the Yankees. Robertson however had a fair share of struggles on the South Side posting an ERA of 3.41 and blowing seven saves. The White Sox will need Robertson to step up along with fellow relievers like Zach Duke, Nate Jones, and Jake Petricka as the team made no moves to improve their 15th ranked bullpen in ERA this offseason. The Sox seemed to be an improved team on paper heading into 2016, yet playing in what is probably the best American league division will not help Chicago in 2016 and it may be tough for them to overcome teams the reloaded Tigers, young Twins, pitching heavy Indians, and World Champion Royals in order to make a playoff run.