The White Sox have loads of potential for this new season. They have one of the best and deepest starting pitching rotations in the league. But just how good can this staff be? I dream about the answer every night.
The Sox look loaded when it comes to pitching. But, it can come down to how you want to look at it.
They acquired Jake Peavy in a trade last year from the Padres. On the dark side, Peavy is coming of an injury he sustained in the 2009 season. He also is moving from the pitcher-friendly National League to the hitter-friendly American League.
He also had significant home and road splits while in San Diego. He pitched better at home where they were in a very pitcher-friendly park, and his performance dropped significantly while on the road. So no one really knows what to expect from him this year.
Well, here's how I see it. Jake Peavy is talented. He wasn't given the 2007 Cy Young Award, he earned it. He can make the adjustment to the AL from the NL no problem. While he may not be as dominant being in different leagues and different parks, he's still a talented pitcher and will pitch well.
Also, the injury he had in the 2009 season was a leg injury. It will not affect his pitching because his arm was never hurt. He won't have to run the bases this year because he's in the AL, and his injury is suppose to be already healed. He pitched at the end of last year and pitched well, so he will be fine at the beginning of this year.
Then you have Mark Buehrle. You can say he couldn't win a game to save his life after his perfect game last year, and I would agree. But he still threw a perfect game, and no one can deny he is a good pitcher. He basically forms a second ace pitcher for the Sox this year, to make maybe the best one-two pitching punch in the league, maybe only second to the Cardinals.
Then you have Gavin Floyd and John Danks, which provide the depth. Both of these pitchers are talented and have the ability to have strong years. The combination of these two and Buehrle and Peavy will scare opposing teams in the playoffs if they're fortunate enough to make it that far.
The fifth starting spot currently belongs to Freddy Garcia, who in all honesty is probably done in this league as an effective pitcher. We'll probably give the job to Daniel Hudson sometime during the year.
The Sox bullpen this year looks promising. You have Bobby Jenks returning as the closer, who has nothing to do but improve on his six blown saves last year. You have Matt Thornton who is a very good setup man. You also have J.J. Putz who should provide solid relief. Also, if Freddy can hold his starting rotation spot, we have Daniel Hudson to work the long-relief innings.
Also, they have Tony Pena and Scott Linebrink. It is my opinion that Tony Pena is a bad pitcher and that Linebrink was pathetic at the latter end of last year. I believe that Pena will pitch average or below average relief innings and Linebrink will do the same.
So what are we going to see in 2010 from this talented pitching staff? We're definitely going to see a heavy reliance on these pitchers from the White Sox team because of their below average offense. These pitchers have the ability to over-exceed expectations us fans have for them this season, and that is very good news for the White Sox.
Hopefully, our pitching can carry the team to the postseason, and even the World Series.
They definitely have that word with them: Potential.