The 2012 Chicago White Sox season is here! (Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE)

A Nice Warm Weather Start

The White Sox are primed to open up the season with a 3 game set in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. Robin Ventura will send John Danks, Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd up to pitch against Ron Washington’s Colby Lewis, Derek Holland and Matt Harrison.

After making some statements early on in Spring Training regarding the lineup and batting order, the new skipper has made a few adjustments. No longer will A.J. Pierzynski be “handing the bat” in the 2 spot, instead Brent Morel will fill that responsibility. Morel has had no problem hitting to the right side, a commonly sought after trait for a 2-hole hitter. However at his most successful in September last season, he pulled the ball a great deal more than was his norm. Hopefully his approach stays strong and he can continue pulling the ball and put up some respectable (not asking for a ton here) power numbers.

Alex Rios was originally penciled into the 3 spot. Thank Buddha for pencil. Alex didn’t show much life this spring and made many of us feel like he would continue to simply catch his paycheck and accidentally run into a few base hits along the way. Not too many, though, just a few. That spot will be filled by a fella that has shown some life this spring. Adam Dunn appears to be…and I do hesitate to say it…primed to return to the form that earned him the trust of Kenny Williams and company. As a high on-base guy, a “typical” Adam Dunn vintage of Adam Dunn will fit perfectly seeing pitches just before Paulie comes to the plate.

Wishes have been granted in regards to De Aza in center. Rios has slid over into RF and we officially begin screening The Misadventures of Dayan Viciedo in left.

Want to know who the closer is? Sure, we all do. Ventura isn’t spilling though. Either he likes playing these little games or he just hasn’t decided yet. He’s happy with how the back end of the ‘pen has shaped up and I agree with him. I’m also not huge on the concept of naming a closer so if he decides to do the unpopular thing and use whoever the heck he wants whenever the heck he wants to because he’s the manager, then I welcome that. Addison Reed, Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and even Hector Santiago are possibilities and I’m sure neither them nor their agents agree with my closer strategy.

Texas, of course is coming off of their 2nd consecutive World Series loss and they may just have improved by acquiring Yu Darvish from the Nippon-Ham Fighters. Incidentally, we do avoid facing Darvish and in turn avoid that awful track record the Sox seem to have against pitchers they’ve not seen before.

A certain Rangers site, Nolan Writin’, appears to be of the loose opinion that 3 with the White Sox should be an easy 3-0.

Colby Lewis is on the mound going against former Rangers prospect John Danks on Opening Night. With the schedule the Rangers have a shot at jumping out to a 10-0 start with series against the Chicago White Sox, the Seattle Mariners and the Minnesota Twins.

Not that such a though process breaks from the general media view of the 2012 White Sox, but they can’t disprove the season’s prognosticators until the season is through. They can prove they’re not an absolute lay-up by the end of the weekend.

It may seem like every team in the league has played but us, but it’s still Opening Day. Sit back, relax and strap it down, White Sox baseball is comin’ your way!

You can follow Matt on Twitter @2012WhiteSox and keep up to date with all of Southside Showdown’s happenings by liking our Facebook page.

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Tags: Adam Dunn Addison Reed AJ Pierzynski Alejandro De Aza Alex Rios Brent Morel Colby Lewis Derek Holland Gavin Floyd Jake Peavy John Danks Matt Harrison Paul Konerko Robin Ventura Ron Washington White Sox Yu Darvish

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