DWC’s 2015 Chicago White Sox Preview


The Chicago White Sox had one of the better offseasons in Major League Baseball after a 73-win campaign in 2014. With some key free agent acquisitions and one of the best hitters in the game today, can the White Sox make a deep playoff push in 2015?

On Tuesday afternoon in Kansas City, the Chicago White Sox will open their 116th season in Major League Baseball. The White Sox finished 73-89 last season, a 10-win improvement from their abysmal 2013 campaign.

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Despite finishing 16 games under .500 last season, the Sox possessed two of the best players at their positions in the game with Chris Sale and the 2014 American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu.

Sale, despite a few injuries, finished third in the AL Cy Young voting with a 12-4 record, a 2.17 earned run average and 208 strikeouts.

In his first season in the major leagues, Abreu was outstanding, hitting .317 with 36 home runs and 107 runs batted in during his rookie campaign.

Throw in key acquisitions for a depleted bullpen — Zach Duke and David Robertson — to go along with roles being filled by Melky Cabrera, Emilio Bonifacio and Adam LaRoche, to even picking up one of the biggest names on the market to help complete the rotation — Jeff Samardzija — the White Sox are prepped for a big 2015 season.

Throughout this preview, we’ll glance at some key topics of discussion for the White Sox heading into Tuesday’s opener.

The best starting rotation in the AL Central?

When your rotation consists of Chris Sale (who will start the season on the 15-day disabled list), Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana at the top of your pitching rotation, you’re in line to have a good season.

Even with Sale recovering from a fracture in his foot following an accident at his home, the 26-year-old left-hander isn’t expected to miss much more time. In fact, he’s been throwing in minor league games recently and it’s safe to say the foot is healthier.

Despite an extreme lack of run support for both Quintana and Samardzija, they both were fantastic in 2014. The key to the rotation will come on the back end with John Danks and Hector Noesi. If the Sox can get some consistency from both, this rotation will be feared in a solid division that’s up for grabs.

Sophomore slump for “El Oso”?

Jose Abreu was one of the best players in baseball last season. That’s just a fact.

But, with a year under his belt and teams focusing on keeping his production low, can Abreu repeat his stellar 2014 campaign?

The key isn’t so much Abreu as it is the middle of the White Sox lineup. Tuesday’s lineup for the Sox has Abreu hitting in his normal spot (3rd, playing first base), but the production around him will be much better in 2015.

Melky Cabrera, one of the key acquisitions for the Sox this year, hit .301 with 16 home runs and 35 doubles for Toronto last year.

Adam LaRoche, who will DH for the Sox and hit fourth Tuesday, hit 26 home runs and drove in 92 runs for Washington in 2014.

Hitting behind LaRoche is none other than Avisail Garcia. The potential for Garcia to have a breakout 2015 season is there, but staying healthy is vital for his progress. Garcia played in just 46 games after tearing his labrum last April.

Key games for the Sox:

  • April 6 – Season opener at Kansas City
  • April 10 – Home opener vs. Minnesota
  • May 8-10 – First home interleague series vs. Cincinnati
  • May 11-13 – First road interleague series vs. Milwaukee
  • June 15-18 – Four-game “home and home”series vs. Pittsburgh
  • July 10-12 – First “Crosstown Series” vs. Cubs
  • July 13-16 – All-Star Break
  • August 10-12 – Mike Trout comes to town with LAA
  • August 14-16 – Second “Crosstown Series” vs. Cubs
  • September 7-17 – 10-game homestand vs. Cleveland, Minnesota and Oakland
  • October 2-4 – Regular season finale series vs. Detroit

Enjoy the atmosphere at U.S. Cellular Field this season

2015 is a big season for the White Sox and the organization knows that success this year could lead to some bright things in the future.

The Sox opened up the checkbook and brought in some players that can really move this team towards their goal of making the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Plus, who wouldn’t want to spend numerous nights at U.S. Cellular Field with this kind of food at the ballpark?

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