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VAfan

Pitching is the key to the Sox' chances in 2020. The lineup is stacked.

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With the extension for Luis Robert, we now know all but the last bench players for the 2020 White Sox, and it's an impressive group. 

The young studs: Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, Nomar Mazara, and Nick Madrigal

The elder statesmen: Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, James McCann, and Leury Garcia

The subs: Adam Engel, Danny Mendick

This team is going to score a lot of runs.

The real question is the pitching. 

Lucas Giolito can't be the only dominant starter if the team wants to win the division and compete in the playoffs. Dallas Keuchel will eat innings and keep the team in games, but isn't a dominant post-season starter any longer. Gio Gonzalez is meant to just stabilize the end of the rotation. 

The Sox need something out of Reynaldo Lopez, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, and Carlos Rodon. At least one of those guys - most likely Kopech - needs to join Giolito at the front of the rotation. And the rest of the guys need to shave their ERAs by more than a run per game. 

As for the bullpen, this is now the most fluid part of the team. With winning will come much higher expectations and pressure. Will they be up to it, or will they implode like the Nationals bullpen did? More arms are needed before the season begins, and reinforcements will be needed before it ends. 

If the Sox want to win the AL Central, their offense looks good enough. Just stay healthy. The pitching is the biggest variable. 

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20 minutes ago, VAfan said:

With the extension for Luis Robert, we now know all but the last bench players for the 2020 White Sox, and it's an impressive group. 

The young studs: Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, Nomar Mazara, and Nick Madrigal

The elder statesmen: Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, James McCann, and Leury Garcia

The subs: Adam Engel, Danny Mendick

This team is going to score a lot of runs.

The real question is the pitching. 

Lucas Giolito can't be the only dominant starter if the team wants to win the division and compete in the playoffs. Dallas Keuchel will eat innings and keep the team in games, but isn't a dominant post-season starter any longer. Gio Gonzalez is meant to just stabilize the end of the rotation. 

The Sox need something out of Reynaldo Lopez, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, and Carlos Rodon. At least one of those guys - most likely Kopech - needs to join Giolito at the front of the rotation. And the rest of the guys need to shave their ERAs by more than a run per game. 

As for the bullpen, this is now the most fluid part of the team. With winning will come much higher expectations and pressure. Will they be up to it, or will they implode like the Nationals bullpen did? More arms are needed before the season begins, and reinforcements will be needed before it ends. 

If the Sox want to win the AL Central, their offense looks good enough. Just stay healthy. The pitching is the biggest variable. 

IMO we will win the Central.  As you point out...3 top quality starters and a solid bullpen are required for playoff baseball.  The bullpen came together in 05 beyond most expectations.  It can happen.

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To me, Cease and Kopech have the widest range of outcomes. If both guys perform perform better than they are projected the Sox are going to be good.

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1 hour ago, raBBit said:

To me, Cease and Kopech have the widest range of outcomes. If both guys perform perform better than they are projected the Sox are going to be good.

It's not to late for Lopez to make himself part of the discussion as well.  Good times...they are a coming.

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9 minutes ago, poppysox said:

It's not too late for Lopez to make himself part of the discussion as well.  Good times...they are a coming.

Could you imagine if he just does his 2018 numbers? 32 starts, almost 190 innings, and an ERA under 4?  Sign me up.

Hopefully the baseball has been normalized. I think that would be to the Sox benefit.

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Will sure be an interesting year and if we make the playoffs this rotation certainly could do something special.

Think past that as well to a full season in 2021:

Giolito

Kopech

Rodon

Keuchel

Cease / Lopez 

If Cease proves to be worthy of his pedigree and can harness control, we’re rolling out with Keuchel as our likely number 5 guy.

Edited by hi8is
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12 hours ago, raBBit said:

To me, Cease and Kopech have the widest range of outcomes. If both guys perform perform better than they are projected the Sox are going to be good.

One's been compared to Syndergaard and the other to Verlander...both hopefully pan out as TOR guys for years to come...I think a lot of people don't realize how good Cease can be (Or Eloy and Robert for that matter)

11 hours ago, poppysox said:

It's not to late for Lopez to make himself part of the discussion as well.  Good times...they are a coming.

Yup, thank God, he's flashed utter dominance at times

9 hours ago, BigHurt3515 said:

I do think Lopez go be a great bullpen guy too. Him for 1-2 innings could be where he ends up on this team

As a a last resort that's not a bad result, could be shut down

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5 minutes ago, ChiSoxJon said:

One's been compared to Syndergaard and the other to Verlander...both hopefully pan out as TOR guys for years to come...I think a lot of people don't realize how good Cease can be (Or Eloy and Robert for that matter)

Yup, thank God, he's flashed utter dominance at times

As a a last resort that's not a bad result, could be shut down

It’s going to be hard to trust Lopez’s control in the late innings, but we walked that tightrope with Jenks.

That said, he’s going to have to get more swings and misses on the fastball, which should be possible in just 1-2 inning bursts at maximum velocity.

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Boy do I hate relievers who walk people.  Come to think about it....I also hate starters who walk people.🙂

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I do like the Sox starting  pitching depth when Rodon, Dunning etc get healthy. It’s going to force guys to focus and step up. Lopez is a guy who may benefit from the pressure-he either steps up in the rotation or goes to the pen. It was like he coasted too much last year, knowing he had a long leash. Adding two vets or solid arms in the pen before spring should be a focus. 

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Having vets like Keuchel and Gonzalez to help the young staff learn to pitch and harness their talent is another source of optimism. The mentoring and sharing of knowledge from the veteran pitchers and now Grandal can only help 

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7 hours ago, beck72 said:

Having vets like Keuchel and Gonzalez to help the young staff learn to pitch and harness their talent is another source of optimism. The mentoring and sharing of knowledge from the veteran pitchers and now Grandal can only help 

Grandal is a huge plus for our young pitcher development IMO.

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I'm hoping for Rodon to be the welcome surprise. Before his injury he was starting to look kind of "acey" if I recall. Once the diagnosis came in, some (me included) were thinking we would never even see him pitch in a Sox uniform again. Well, he will be suiting up so let's see how he does and if he can stay healthy.

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I have a low bar for Rodon. If he can tie his shoes by July it will be a success. The Sox may work an extension with his domestic partner. Dunning would be a nice surprise. 

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37 minutes ago, pcq said:

I have a low bar for Rodon. If he can tie his shoes by July it will be a success. The Sox may work an extension with his domestic partner. Dunning would be a nice surprise. 

100% the best way to look at Rodon.  Don’t expect anything from him and see what happens.  He is typically either injured or underperforming so if he comes back strong it would be a pleasant surprise.

Edited by Moan4Yoan

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40 minutes ago, Moan4Yoan said:

100% the best way to look at Rodon.  Don’t expect anything from him and see what happens.  He is typically either injured or underperforming so if he comes back strong it would be a pleasant surprise.

I still think he’ll be used out of the pen if / when he comes back next year.  And he could be a late season weapon in that role.

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11 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

I still think he’ll be used out of the pen if / when he comes back next year.  And he could be a late season weapon in that role.

I am now of the opinion that Hahn should sign as many good players as he can to one year deals.  Infielders, outfielders, relievers, etc.  The Twins are being total cheapskates and the Sox could take the division with how pathetic the competition is looking.  Don’t hurt the future by signing anyone that wants 2+ years but look for anyone who could contribute on a short term deal.  If Puig has given up on trying to find a long term deal, sign him.  Every win matters.

Edited by Moan4Yoan
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8 minutes ago, Moan4Yoan said:

I am now of the opinion that Hahn should sign as many good players as he can to one year deals.  Infielders, outfielders, relievers, etc.  The Twins are being total cheapskates and the Sox could take the division with how pathetic the competition is looking.  Don’t hurt the future by signing anyone that wants 2+ years but look for anyone who could contribute on a short term deal.  If Puig has given up on trying to find a long term deal, sign him.  Every win matters.

I agree outside the Puig part (unless they are convinced he isn’t the clubhouse cancer he appears to be).  Improve the bullpen & bench and then let’s go to fucking war.

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25 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

I agree outside the Puig part (unless they are convinced he isn’t the clubhouse cancer he appears to be).  Improve the bullpen & bench and then let’s go to fucking war.

I just don't buy into this stuff, the same with "leadership" in baseball.  It's an individual team game.  Jose Abreu doesn't will Tim Anderson to hit .330 the same way Puig wouldn't be causing Tim to make a bagillion errors.

They still need a legitimate RF though imo.  Puig fits that.

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40 minutes ago, ptatc said:

Pitching is always the key, regardless of the lineup. 

In the playoffs.  Or the Twins would have actually won some games in the postseason for once.

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