The Chicago White Sox will be looking to improve their .500 record from 2022, when they won 81 games and lost the other half of their 162-game schedule. They couldn’t pick a tougher way to start, with their first three games being on the road at the home of the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. It is a quick away set, with the White Sox returning home for their opener against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, April 3.
The White Sox also have April home series against the Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, and Tampa Bay Rays before May sees them host their first divisional series of the season against the Minnesota Twins beginning on Tuesday, May 2.
Here are three questions for the White Sox ahead of the 2023 season.
Three Key Questions
Will talent lead to production?
You can argue that this is the most talented team in the AL Central. The Tigers and Royals struggled to avoid triple-digit losses last season, while the Twins must stay much healthier to compete. That leaves the .500 White Sox and the division champion Cleveland Guardians, winners of 92 games in 2022. The White Sox have pieces that have flashed throughout their careers, but the consistency has been tough to find. If they can get even three-fourths of their starting lineup, rotation, and bullpen working simultaneously, this could be the team to beat in the division.
Is the pitching rotation as advertised?
In a recent piece, ESPN had the White Sox rotation ranked No. 7 in MLB. There are caveats to this – not least the investigation currently going on into newcomer Mike Clevinger – but it is a high mark for a team that didn’t have a winning record last year and lost a 3.35 ERA pitcher in Johny Cuero over the offseason. The hope is that bounceback years are incoming for Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn. This is a staff with talent at the top – Dylan Cease is one of the best five pitchers in the entire league – but that looks worryingly short of depth. If they are as advertised, the White Sox will compete.
Is Tim Anderson going to bounce back?
The White Sox shortstop is a legitimate MVP candidate at his best. He was insane in 2019 when he batted .335 and was outstanding again in 2020 and 2021. Last season was a mixed bag. Anderson was a little low on production before an injury to his hand took him out for the majority of the second half of the year. The production loss has been put down to a series of minor injuries that he couldn’t shake, injuries that he has now put behind him. The White Sox are in a much better position if Anderson is firing.