A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP THE WHITE SOX
I like what the White Sox did in the off-season, even though they have a question at second base and their catching isn't very good.... Jose Abreu takes what they give him, uses the whole field, and he's so big and strong he can take you out of the park anyway. It wouldn't surprise me if he hit 40 homers with a high average.... Adam Eaton is one of those guys that'd run through a fence, and he's got tools. He's a pest on the bases, he's a good centerfielder, he can throw, he's got some power.... I think this is going to be a great park for Adam LaRoche. He gets the ball in the air, he's got power, and he can spell Abreu at first.... I don't think Tyler Flowers is a regular catcher. He strikes out too much, and I don't think he catches and throws quite well enough.... Chris Sale's stuff is premium. It moves all over from a lower-arm angle than you're used to seeing; his elbows and arms are flying. He's got to be careful not to rush back from his broken foot.... When Jose Quintana was coming up, he'd be going fine and just lose it, couldn't find the plate. But he's been strong two years in a row.... The bottom of the rotation is concerning. John Danks doesn't have the stuff he used to, and Hector Noesi is not a good fit in that ballpark, because he gives up a lot of fly balls.... To me, David Robertson is probably the most important new guy they got. So many games got away from them last year because of their bullpen, and I can't tell you how demoralizing that is, especially to a younger team.
The White Sox pushed themselves into contention with an off-season shopping spree that added Jeff Samardzija, Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche, David Robertson and Zach Duke. To get over the top, they'll need one more bold move—opening the season with Carlos Rodon in the rotation. Rodon, the third pick in the 2014 draft, is a polished college starter and a top 15 prospect. More important, he is already better than incumbent fifth starter Hector Noesi. By promoting Rodon, they can put him under the care of Don Cooper, one of the game's best pitching coaches. The Sox open the season with three weeks of AL Central games, and they may not have ace Chris Sale, who suffered a broken right foot in February, until mid- to late April. If they're trying to win now, they have to set aside convention—and service-time considerations—and open the year with Rodon in the bigs.
LEAGUE RANK 7
MANAGER ROBIN VENTURA 4TH SEASON WITH WHITE SOX
2015 PROJECTED STATISTICS BY ROTOWIRE.COM
FRED VUICH FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (ABREU)