When looking at recent White Sox teams, there is no doubt that they are highlighted by a plethora of heavy-footed veterans, many of whom are in an injury-proned state of their career.
Names like Konerko, Thome, Dye, Griffey, and Crede are the main ones that come to mind. Sure, production will always be there, but can you really expect a championship run with such a station-to-station offense?
There has been way too many games in recent memory in which the South Siders' offense has been stopped due to the absence of the home run.
This offseason, Kenny Williams' plan was to institute a great deal of fresh legs and youth into the White Sox offense. Such a plan could be something to be excited about with the recent success of youngsters like Carlos Quentin, Alexei Ramirez, Gavin Floyd, and John Danks. But when is a youth movement taken too far?
If you look through the Sox depth chart, it seems like the list of guys with one year or less of productive MLB service never ends. Of all of these youngsters, Quentin and Ramirez are the ones who we know will emerge as opening day starters (position players).
Although, that far from completes the list for the reigning AL Central champs.
When you consider Josh Fields and Jerry Owens expecting to have the upper hand at third base and center field, respectively, you already have youngsters filling up half of your field. Then, you have to remember the three-man competition for the nod at second base.
Williams stands strong by his opinion that young players thrive when in competition with one another and are not handed the job. This is why he has used the offseason, to acquire Jayson Nix via free agency and Brent Lillibridge in the Javy Vazquez trade, to bring highly-touted prospect Chris Getz a run for his money.
A lot of new names there, huh?
Well, my friends, we have not even got to the pitching staff yet. Going into the season, we only know three of our starters—Buehrle, Danks, and Floyd—two of which are promising young players. Yes, they performed all of 2008, but you still cannot be positive that they will as successful in the future.
After those guys, there is a competition between about five players for the last two spots—the likes of Clayton Richard, Lance Broadway, Jeff Marquez, Aaron Poreda, and Bartolo Colon. Yes, I know Bartolo is far from a young guy. Instead of inexperience, the concern lingering over his name is his recent injury history.
Sure, Richard provided a solid arm in a couple of clutch situations late last year, and Marquez is the "sinkerballer" we've missed since trading Jon Garland.
But, that is not a lot of information when considering five names.