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White Sox Preview for the 2020 Season

Yes, the White Sox are playing baseball in 2020. This season without a doubt is the most hyped for this team in a long time. Even though it is only a 60 game season, it should be a good one. The young core and new veterans brought in by Rick Hahn and co. will be looking to impress and shock the league by taking home their first AL Central Division Crown since 2008. Let’s get into this and look at what the team and schedule look like for your 2020 Chicago White Sox!

The Team

There are a lot of new faces on this roster this season, more than usual. The White Sox added talent that will help them compete. This roster looks like it could be one of the best in baseball.

Starting Pitching

This rotation for the 2020 season is led by All-Star Lucas Giolito, who had a comeback season in 2019 to show why he was once ranked the number 3 prospect in all of baseball.

Followed by Giolito is former Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel signed with the White Sox this past offseason and in the exhibition/intrasquad games looked very good, throwing 4 no-hit innings in an intrasquad game. He has been compared to former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle which is a very good comparison.

Third in the rotation will be Dylan Cease, who was the young arm the White Sox acquired in the Jose Quintana trade back in 2017. Cease will look to impress this season as a flamethrower for the Sox in 2020.

Next up is Reynaldo Lopez; the X-Factor for a lot of people this season. Lopez struggled in 2019, giving up 35 home runs, the 5th most in all of baseball. He lacked consistency and was very spotty. Hopefully, he can get back on track in 2020 and be a part of the rotation for years to come.

Lastly, we have Carlos Rodon who is coming off Tommy John surgery and missed the majority of the 2019 season. Sox fans are hoping to see a good season out of Rodon but don’t really know what to expect since he missed so much time last year.

The Bullpen

First off we have Gio Gonzalez. Gio was brought in this past offseason for technically his third stint with the White Sox. However, he has never actually pitched in an actual game for the Sox. With Rodon back in the rotation, Gonzalez will be used as a long reliever and may even get a few spot starts this year.

Next is Ross Detwiler, another guy who will be used in the long relief role. There isn’t much to say about him as he was with the team last year and did make a few quality starts. Don’t expect much from Big Boss Ross this year as he will play a smaller version of the role that Gonzalez has.

After Detwiler is Codi Heur, who I was very impressed with in these intrasquad and exhibition games. Heur is a righty and only 24 years old, and should impress and hopefully stay with this team for the long run as he will be making his major league debut at some point this season.

Following Heur is another young arm in Jimmy Lambert. Like Heur, had an impressive summer camp and being only 25 years old he fits the mold of the team quite nicely. He is another right-handed arm, but he will be good depth to have as he also makes his major league debut in 2020.

The next name on the list is Jimmy Cordero, who was known last season for having his sleeves rolled up the majority of the time and throwing gas. Cordero had a successful 2019, posting an ERA of 2.75 in 36 innings pitched. Look for the White Sox to go to Cordero in 2020 as one of the main options as a middle reliever.

Could you forget this next pitcher? Probably not, as his Players Weekend nickname made headlines as RHP Evan Marshall used the popular movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall on the back of his jersey. Marshall was quite good for a while in 2019, not giving up any earned runs through his first 18 appearances. Marshall would then struggle a bit but was pretty reliable for the Sox in 2019.

Starting to get to the more well-known names now as we have lefty Jace Fry. The only other lefty reliever besides another name that we will get to later. Fry had an alright 2019, as he posted an ERA of 4.75. Not horrible but not the best. Fry is another name who will hopefully get on track and help this team get to the postseason in 2020.

Known for his unique style of pitching, we have former Cubs reliever, Steve Cishek. Cishek was one of the only reliable arms for the Cubs in 2019. He decided that he was going to stay in Chicago, but go and play for the better team. Cishek will be used as a setup option for Renteria and could make some middle relief appearances but should be one of the better arms in 2020.

Kelvin Herrera, oh what a disappointment he has been so far. To give him the benefit of the doubt, he did deal with injuries the majority of the 2019 season, but man was he bad. Herrera had an ERA of 6.15 with the Sox. Hopefully, he can get back to his ways from his time with the Royals because if he can, Herrera would be one of the best arms in the White Sox bullpen.

One of the last names here, ground ball lefty specialist Aaron Bummer. He was absolutely not a bummer (sorry for the bad pun but it had to be done) in 2019. Bummer was one of the best arms, if not the best arm in the bullpen in for the Sox last year. Last season, earned Bummer a contract extension during spring training back in February. He will hopefully be the future closer for the White Sox in the years to come.

Last but not least, closer, Alex Colome. Most will say Colome was very lucky in 2019, which in fact he was. His baseball savant page does not help him at all either. Do not look at it if you don’t want to be heartbroken. Okay, I’m done with the negativity now on Colome. He played his role fine as the closer for the Sox as he had a streak of no blown saves so he had that going for him but yeah, Alex Colome everybody.

Catchers

Only three names but they are some good ones.

First up we have arguably the biggest name that came to the Southside in free agency, All-Star catcher, Yasmani Grandal. That is right folks, Yasmani Grandal is a member of the White Sox. One of the best catchers in the league if not the best will be a part of this offense and defense this year. One of the best pitch framers in the MLB, he should help get our arms more strikes and help them become even better pitchers. That is just what Yasmani Grandal does and he should have a huge impact on this team.

Secondly, we have another All-Star catcher, James McCann. Wait the White Sox have two All-Star catchers on their team now? Yes, they do, watch out Major League Baseball the White Sox have arguably again the best catching duo in the league. McCann had a resurgence to his career and became a great offensive player for the Sox in 2019. However, his stats did suffer as he took over most of the innings at catcher so fatigue definitely affected him but that shouldn’t be an issue in 2020 with a 60 game season and Yasmani Grandal in front of him.

The last catcher that made the opening day roster is Zack Collins. Collins made his major league debut in 2019 and started it off with a bang. His first career hit also happened to be his first career home which came against the Texas Rangers. Collins won’t see many appearances behind the plate this year but should get a good amount of at bats off the bench is he is one of the better lefty bats the Sox have.

Infielders

Here we go to the infield, starting off at first base is another All-Star from 2019, Jose Abreu. One of the most consistent bats over the past few years and one of the few players that actually survived the rebuild. Abreu hits almost 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s every year. If you have stuck by the Sox through this rebuild, you know who Jose Abreu is. Not much more explaining to be done.

Following Abreu at first is the slugger Edwin Encarnacion who is known for his trot after hitting a home run. Edwin will more than likely take most of the at-bats as the designated hitter which he will play perfectly. Another consistent bat that will be a great addition to this lineup.

Now the middle infielders, at second base will be not Nick Madrigal. Instead, it will be Leury Garcia, who is the longest-tenured player on the White Sox. Garcia has been a solid player at best for the Sox and will play second base until whenever the service time for Madrigal is done. Garcia will then take his role as a utility man off the bench as he is a switch hitter so that’s a plus.

Also at second base, we have Danny Mendick. A lot of Sox fans petitioned for Mendick to make the opening day roster before the season got suspended. Well Sox fans, he made it, and will play the Leury Garcia role as he can play second base, shortstop, third base, and even the outfield. Basically Leury Garcia but not a switch hitter.

This player changed the game last season and will continue to look to change the game this season. That player will be the MLB Batting Champion, Tim Anderson. Another player that made headlines in 2019 after his iconic bat flip against the Kansas City Royals. Now, Anderson is the face of the White Sox and a face of MLB. He will look to replicate his 2019 season in 2020 and take the league by storm again but hopefully with better defense.

Lastly at third base, we have two names so I will save the best for last. An interesting name to see on the Opening Day Roster, Cheslor Cuthbert. He most likely will receive the boot once Madrigal is ready, but Cuthbert is another utility guy who can play a majority of the infield positions. Not much else to say about him.

Last but certainly not least for your infielders, Yoan Moncada. The main piece brought in when this rebuild first started, he proved why he was the number 1 prospect in baseball. Moncada batted .315, which was the third-highest in the American League. Most people say Moncada is the best chance for a player to win MVP on the White Sox and I believe it. If he plays like he did last season, he has a shot at winning MVP.

Outfielders

Onto the outfielders. Before I get into the four outfielders, Nomar Mazara will not be included since he will start the season on the injured list.

Up first we have the powerful left fielder, Eloy Jimenez. In 2019, Eloy quietly hit 31 home runs. He did that even though he missed time which led to him only finishing in fourth place in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Eloy will be a huge bat in this lineup and be a force that pitchers will not want to face.

In center field, we have a favorite to win Rookie of the Year, La Pantera, Luis Robert. Eloy has said that he will be the next Mike Trout, so Sox fans should get excited. Robert is a do it all athlete. He is exactly who you want on your team. Robert should be a stud for the White Sox for years to come and dominate the league.

Now in left field, there are two names who split time here. First is the speedy defender, Adam Engel. Engel hits lefties well and will be a great late-game substitution. He is known for robbing home runs and will continue to do that for the White Sox in 2020.

The other name that is an option for left field until Mazara comes back is Nicky Delmonico. Welcome back to the Opening Day roster Nicky. Some White Sox fans are happy about this, others not so much. Personally, I am fine with it. Delmonico will be another lefty bat to have on the team and hopefully mash some home runs during his time in Chicago this upcoming season.

We are done with the roster and everyone who made it. This is the most exciting team in a long time for White Sox fans and hopefully they will be able to make some noise in 2020.

The Schedule

This is a very interesting year for baseball as it will have the White Sox play against only AL and NL Central teams. The Field of Dreams game is still on but against a different opponent. Let’s take a look at some important dates and how many games the White Sox play against each team.

AL Central Teams

The White Sox will play against each AL Central team like they always do. They will play 10 games against the Twins, Tigers, Indians, and Royals. Hopefully, the White Sox will be able to capitalize on playing the Detriot Tigers and Kansas City Royals, two of the worst teams in baseball.

NL Central Teams

Now against the NL Central, they will play 20 games among the 5 teams in the NL Central. The Sox will play 6 games against their crosstown rivals the Chicago Cubs, 4 games against the Brewers, Cardinals, and Reds, and then 2 games against the Pirates. Since the Sox play 6 games against the Cubs, we lose 2 games against the Pirates. Interesting to see how they do against all these teams as most of them added pieces this offseason, especially Cincinnati.

Important Dates

Friday, July 24th- Opening Day vs Minnesota Twins

Thursday, August 13th- Field of Dreams Game vs St.Louis Cardinals

Friday, August 21st- First series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley

Monday, August 31st- MLB Trade Deadline

Friday, September 25th- Last Series of the Season vs the Chicago Cubs

Those are just some of the main dates for the White Sox this season. With the league expanding playoffs for this season, 2020 is a perfect opportunity for the White Sox to end their playoff drought. Every game counts this year!

Featured Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

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