If the White Sox do make the postseason, they, like any team, will have some decisions to make regarding their 25-man postseason roster. Here is my best guess on who those 25 players will be for the White Sox come October.
Chris Sale (17-7, 2.86 ERA, 185 Ks)
Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.40 ERA, 180 Ks)
Gavin Floyd (10-11, 4.56 ERA, 132 Ks)
Jose Quintana (6-5, 3.60 ERA, 78 Ks)
The White Sox have a pair of legitimate aces in Chris Sale and Jake Peavy, but after that, their rotation could go a number of different ways.
Sale is a legitimate Cy Young candidate. He's made a seamless transition to the rotation this season after working as a setup man the past two seasons. The team could opt to go with the veteran Peavy atop the rotation, but my guess is that Sale gets the nod.
Peavy has enjoyed a bounce-back season after battling injuries the past three years. And with just two postseason starts under his belt, he'll be anxious to get back to October baseball.
Beyond those two, the team will pick from Gavin Floyd, Jose Quintana, Francisco Liriano, Hector Santiago and perhaps Phil Humber. My guess is that the veteran Floyd is slotted in as the No. 3 starter and that inconsistent rookie Quintana gets the fourth spot with a very short leash.
CL Addison Reed (60 G, 2-3, 28 SV, 4.73 ERA, 8.9 K/9)
SU Brett Myers (32 G, 3-3, 0 SV, 3.38 ERA, 4.9 K/9)
SU Matt Thornton (72 G, 4-9, 3 SV, 3.39 ERA, 7.5 K/9)
MID Nathan Jones (62 G, 8-0, 0 SV, 2.35 ERA, 8.2 K/9)
MID Jesse Crain (49 G, 2-3, 0 SV, 2.64 ERA, 11.2 K/9)
The White Sox have rolled with rookie Addison Reed at closer for the bulk of the season. While his ERA is high, he has converted 28-of-32 save chances.
Deadline pickup Brett Myers has locked down the eighth-inning role, and Matt Thornton remains one of the better left-handed setup guys in baseball. Nathan Jones, another rookie, has been perhaps the most consistent arm in the 'pen all year, and Jesse Crain has posted a career-high K/9 mark this season.
LR Hector Santiago (41 G, 3 GS, 3-1, 4 SV, 3.69 ERA, 9.8 K/9)
LR Francisco Liriano (12 G, 11 GS, 3-2, 5.40 ERA, 9.2 K/9)
MID Donnie Veal (22 G, 0-0, 1 SV, 1.46 ERA, 12.4 K/9)
The Sox's only lock from the left side is Thornton right now, but they'll have three others to choose from in swingman Hector Santiago, deadline pickup Francisco Liriano and rookie Donnie Veal.
My guess is that Santiago gets the nod as a potential starter should Quintana flop, and Veal is slotted in as another middle reliever, with Liriano as the odd man out.
CF Alejandro De Aza (.281/.350/.411, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 80 R)
3B Kevin Youkilis (.232/.347/.434, 15 HR, 45 RBI, 45 R)
DH Adam Dunn (.209/.337/.484, 41 HR, 94 RBI, 85 R)
1B Paul Konerko (.299/.370/.488, 25 HR, 72 RBI, 63 R)
RF Alex Rios (.299/.329/.510, 24 HR, 88 RBI, 90 R)
C A.J. Pierzynski (.280/.327/.511, 27 HR, 76 RBI, 66 R)
LF Dayan Viciedo (.253/.295/.429, 22 HR, 68 RBI, 58 R)
SS Alexei Ramirez (.267/.290/.370, 9 HR, 71 RBI, 59 R)
2B Gordon Beckham (.236/.298/.377, 16 HR, 60 RBI, 61 R)
Backed by comeback seasons from Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, as well as a career year from A.J. Pierzynski, the White Sox lineup has been an asset this year, and the team has more or less stuck with the same lineup all season long.
Trading for Youkilis shored up the team's only real lineup hole at third base and gave the the White Sox a No. 2 hitter who could get on base in front of their sluggers.
With little bench depth, don't expect the team's lineup to change much on a game-to-game basis, as this should essentially be the nine that they trot out each game.
C Tyler Flowers (.225/.306/.434, 7 HR, 13 RBI, 19 R)
IF Orlando Hudson (.179/.252/.276, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 9 R)
OF DeWayne Wise (.264/.293/.429, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 17 R)
The White Sox bench is incredibly thin. Tyler Flowers, DeWayne Wise and Orlando Hudson are the only players, outside of the starters, who have over 100 at-bats on the season. Given that, it seems they are a lock to be on the roster.
C Hector Gimenez (.500/.500/.500, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 R)
IF Jose Lopez (.188/.235/.250, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 R)
IF Ray Olmedo (.200/.200/.233, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R)
OF Jordan Danks (.220/.250/.288, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 10 R)
The above guys are the only other four position players who are eligible for the postseason roster, and none of them have seen significant action this season.
My guess is that Jose Lopez makes it for his veteran bat and defensive versatility, and Jordan Danks makes it for his speed on the bases and moderate power potential.
Center Field: Alejandro De Aza vs. DeWayne Wise
While Alejandro De Aza has been the team's primary center fielder and primary leadoff hitter all season, there is no question that DeWayne Wise provided a spark when he rejoined the team. At the very least, Wise could see a start if he has a good history against a pitcher or something of the sort.
No. 4 Starter: Jose Quintana vs. Francisco Liriano vs. Hector Santiago
Gavin Floyd will likely have a spot behind Chris Sale and Jake Peavy, but who fills the fourth starter spot remains a question. My guess is rookie Jose Quintana, but Francisco Liriano and Hector Santiago are options as well.
Final Two Bullpen Spots: Donnie Veal vs. Hector Santiago vs. Francisco Liriano
The White Sox's only lock as a left-hander for the bullpen is Matt Thornton, and there are three other lefties vying for the final two spots in the 'pen.
Santiago should be able to land a spot because of his ability to start should another starter make an early exit. But while Liriano has had his impressive stretches this season, my guess is that Veal gets the final slot, as he's held lefties to a .067 batting average on the season.
Alejandro De Aza