With SoxFest 2010 drawing to a close we are one step closer to the beginning of spring training in February. While it is a little bit early to make predictions on the season, the excitement of the Chicago White Sox this off-season rivals even the beginning of 2006 off-season after a spectacular playoff run and world championship in 2005. But where is all the buzz coming from?
First off, the White Sox just might have a starting pitching staff that is just as good if not better than the one that led them to the World Series. With two members of that pitching staff still in the rotation (Freddy Garcia, Mark Buehrle) and the addition of Jake Peavy last season, the White Sox just might have the best pitching staff in the majors. Even without Jake Peavy, the White Sox have a top-flight pair of Pitchers that have proven that they can win in John Danks and Gavin Floyd. Going along with that, the bullpen has been improved by the addition of JJ Putz to an already strong bullpen featuring Bobby Jenks and hard throwing Matt Thornton. The bullpen will be even more if Young Daniel Hudson makes the team out of spring training.
On the defensive side of things, the White Sox will have a few new faces and will look a lot different than last year's team. Gone are second baseman Chris Getz, right fielder Jermaine dye, and left fielder Scott Podsednik( and his beautiful lady). Fear not though, Gordon Beckham will move from third base to second base to make room for new third baseman Mark Teahen. Carlos Quentin will move from his usual spot in left field to play RF. and newly acquired Juan Pierre will patrol left field.
To go along with the defensive changes, the batting order is in for a little shakeup. The only thing that is known for sure is that Juan Pierre will be the White Sox leadoff man. It would be safe to assume that the second spot in the order will the a tossup between Gordon Beckham and Alexi Ramirez. However it is also safe to assume that the team might want more run production out of those two, which would require them to move down in the order. However look for the batting order to be as follows.
1. Juan Pierre LF
2. Beckham 2B
3. Paul Konerko 1B/DH, Andru Jones DH
4. Alex Rios CF
5. Carlos Quentin RF
6. AJ C
9.Mark Kotsay LF/1B/DH
bench: Jason Nix, Omar Vizquel, Flowers, Lillibridge,Jones,
check back often as we preview each position individually over the next week, starting tomorrow with a preview of the starting pitching rotation. Once spring training begins, I will write daily updates about what's going on in camp, and on any games.