The time has come. We’ve waited a long time and we’ve watched a lot of spring training games during which the lineup went from set to…set. Managers go into the season with an idea of who they want to play where, how they want to construct their batting lineup, and how the pitching staff will be set up. Days, weeks, or months later things change, with injuries and failed performances being the most common culprits. Outside of John Danks name being in the DL column, allowing Dylan Axelrod into the rotation as the team’s fifth starter, the roster is otherwise pretty much what one may have guessed at the outset of spring action. Today is game 1 of 162 and if everybody performs, if everybody stays healthy, this is more or less what we’re going to be looking at every day:
Chris Sale makes his first Opening Day start and without the distraction of his alma mater still competing in the NCAA tournament. The White Sox are expecting big things out of Sale, as evidenced by his new contract, but the goal here should be to avoid the same fate as the last Sox starter to pull a nice contract extension. A win on day 1 would be an excellent start.
According to a great many baseball talking heads on the television machine, the Royals are on the brink of greatness now that they’ve added James Shields to the rotation. Shields has pitched decently in his career, pitching half of his games in a park that ranks among the best at suppressing runs. He now moves to Kansas City, which sits at about league average. His 108 ERA+ from 2012 puts him at just around league average as well, certainly not in ace territory. Of the White Sox many worries for the 2013 season, James Shields should not be one of them. Not today, not on any other day.
The rest of the Royals could mount some issues, perhaps. Here they are:
1. Alex Gordon – LF
2. Alcides Escobar – SS
3. Billy Butler– DH
4. Mike Moustakas – 3B
5. Salvador Perez – C
6. Eric Hosmer – 1B
7. Lorenzo Cain – CF
8. Jeff Francouer – RF
9. Chris Getz – 2B
White Sox baseball has arrived. If you’re heading to the ballpark, wear your winter coat. If you’re watching from the comfort of your home, wear your coat in a show of solidarity.
Where to Watch
Game available on Comcast Sports in Chicago, Fox Sports KC in the Kansas City Market. 3:05 central start time.