After faltering down the stretch in 2022, the Chicago White Sox look ready to rebound in the 2023 season.
Despite starting off the 2022 campaign strong, the Chicago White Sox failed to make the playoffs with an 81-81 record. Following a tumultuous return tenure, Tony La Russa stepped down due to medical issues on August 31 and retired on October 3. Conversely, the South-Siders will be under new management, with Pedro Grifol taking the helm.
After a second-place finish with the 81-81 mark, the Sox are looking to turn things around in 2023. And in a fairly weak AL Central division, this team could have the right talent, when healthy, to be contenders. Let’s break down what the White Sox did in the 2023 offseason, and what fans will have to look forward to come Opening Day.
Chicago White Sox: Offseason Recap and Regular Season Preview
The Sox have a full list of their transactions here through their website, but this piece will focus only on the key moves.
- Signed free agent pitcher Mike Clevinger to a contract on Dec. 4, 2022.
- Signed free agent outfielder Andrew Benintendi to a five-year contract on Jan. 3.
- Re-signed shortstop Elvis Andrus on Feb. 20.
- First baseman Jose Abreu left in free agency for the Houston Astros.
- Outfielder A.J. Pollock left in free agency for the Seattle Mariners.
- Pitcher Vince Velasquez for in free agency for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- Pitcher Johnny Cueto left in free agency for the Miami Marlins.
Headlines Looking into the Regular Season
Chicago will open play on March 30 against the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. What do they have to build on to reach the playoffs?
Tim Anderson Looking for a Bounce Back Year
The term bounce back could be interpreted rather loosely. To the point, he put up a statistically solid season with a .301/.339/.395 slash line, but he only played in 79 games due to a myriad of injuries and suspensions. Likewise, if Anderson can stay healthy and out of trouble, he can be a perennial .300 hitter as a shortstop, which is extremely valuable. And that is something many fan bases would like to have.
How will Benintendi Fit In?
The big move in Chi-town on the AL side was the signing of Andrew Benintendi to a five-year deal on Jan. 3. The veteran outfielder posted career highs in average and on-base percentage in 2022 at .304/.373 with the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. Not only that, but Benintendi received his first All-Star appearance. He can be a dangerous hitter anywhere in the lineup, and, likewise, he can lock down left field.
Big Names Look to Anchor Rotation Again
2022 was a breakout season for right-hander Dylan Cease. The 27-year-old posted a 14-8 mark in 32 starts with an excellent 2.20 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 184 innings. With free agent signing Mike Clevinger joining the fold alongside Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito, the White Sox are primed to have one of the top pitching rotations in 2023.
White Sox Opening Day Lineups/Rotation/Bullpen
Projections for Opening Day Lineup
Catcher – Yasmani Grandal
First Baseman – Andrew Vaughn
Second Baseman – Tim Anderson
Third Baseman – Yoan Moncada
Shortstop – Elvis Andrus
Left Fielder – Andrew Benintendi/Eloy Jimenez
Center Fielder – Luis Robert
Right Fielder – Gavin Sheets
Designated Hitter – Jake Burger
Bench – Leury Garcia, Seby Zavala, Eloy Jimenez, Romy Gonzalez
Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Mike Clevinger, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech
Jake Diekman, Jose Ruiz, Kendall Graveman, Joe Kelly, Reynaldo Lopez, Aaron Bummer, Nick Avila
Final Thoughts on the Chi-Sox
Perhaps 2022 was just a fluke on the South Side. These White Sox will be out with something to prove in 2023. Last season left a bad taste in their mouth, and they don’t want history to repeat itself. Expect the White Sox to provide a major fight for the AL Central crown this season.
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