Chicago White Sox

Manager: Robin Ventura
Stadium: U.S. Cellular Field
2008 Record: 89-74 (1st in AL Cent)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule

LINEUP

'08: Batting | Runs (5th in AL)
PLAYER B POS
Alexei Ramirez R SS
Dewayne Wise L CF
Carlos Quentin R LF
Jim Thome L DH
Jermaine Dye R RF
Paul Konerko R 1B
Josh Fields R 3B
A.J. Pierzynski L C
Chris Getz L 2B
OFF THE BENCH
Wilson Betemit B INF
Brian Anderson R OF

PITCHING

'08: Pitching | ERA (6th in AL)
ROTATION T POS
Mark Buehrle L SP1
John Danks L SP2
Gavin Floyd R SP3
Clayton Richard L SP4
Jose Contreras R SP5
BULLPEN
Octavio Dotel R Setup
Matt Thornton L Setup
Bobby Jenks R Closer
 
Last season the White Sox rode the success of young guns John Danks and Gavin Floyd, who combined for 29 victories, to a surprising division title. But pitching coach Don Cooper isn't about to let them look back. "Baseball is a game of next," he says. "The next pitch, the next hitter, the next start." In the beefed-up AL Central, the Sox will need everything they can get from Danks, a 23-year-old lefty, and Floyd, who's 26. Both showed improved focus and command last year. "Danks went after the hitters more," says one longtime scout. "Floyd threw more strikes with all his pitches and didn't lean too much on his curveball, like he has in the past." But because his strikeout totals are modest (6.3 K's per nine innings), Floyd needs to do a better job of keeping the ball in the park to avoid big innings. (His 30 homers allowed was second most in the AL.) The Sox might have greater rotation depth this season, with veterans Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon surprising everyone in camp, but Danks and Floyd need to be what's next -- and now -- for Chicago.
-- Buster Olney

ESPN The Magazine's White Sox preview Insider

PROSPECTS

HITTER TO WATCH:

Either Dayan Viciedo or Gordon Beckham could appear this year and contribute, with Beckham more likely. In the meantime, utilityman Chris Getz will bring a high-contact, modest-OBP bat to second base.

PITCHER TO WATCH:

Left-hander Aaron Poreda's sinker could set him up to return in a relief or spot-starter role this summer, although he needs to improve one of his off-speed pitches to stick in the rotation.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.

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SPORTSNATION

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Featured Comment

Rays get the better of the Southsiders yet again. Although the Cuban imports from Chicago will have a breakthrough.


donkingruined boxing

American League fan previews

FANTASY

SLEEPER

Chris Getz will start at second base and give you a nice combination of speed and power. Sure, there will be some growing pains, but at the price you'll be getting him, he's an incredible bargain.

BUST

Though Gavin Floyd won 17 games last season, he was more fortunate than good. Expect a far higher ERA and quite a few more losses this season, even if his overall performance manages to improve.
-- AJ Mass

INJURY TO WATCH

Jose Contreras' 2008 season came to an abrupt halt when he tore his Achilles tendon in August, necessitating surgery. Although he was originally projected to be out until perhaps the All-Star break, Contreras has exceeded expectations. Between shedding 30 excess pounds and rehabbing diligently, Contreras has put himself into position potentially to start the season on schedule. His pitch location still needs some work, but his velocity is up, and, most important, Contreras feels fine physically. At 37, he's not the youngest guy in the rotation, but he's certainly working as if he had something to prove. Keep an eye on him.
-- Stephania Bell

MORE

30 Questions: Can Carlos Quentin repeat his performance from 2008?

PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS

  • Jayson Stark

    Stark
    No. 11 overall
    (2nd in
    AL Central)

  • Tim Kurkjian

    Kurkjian
    No. 12 overall
    (3rd in
    AL Central)

  • Buster Olney

    Olney
    No. 9 overall
    (3rd in
    AL Central)

  • Rob Neyer

    Neyer
    No. 18 overall
    (4th in
    AL Central)

  • Jim Caple

    Caple
    No. 11 overall
    (2nd in
    AL Central)