Aug 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Hector Noesi (48) throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, it is January and we are still two months away from the first spring training game (March 4 vs. the L.A. Dodgers), but it is not out of line to say the 2015 Chicago White Sox will win in ’15 with their pitching.
Good pitching for the White Sox means a happy viewing experience this summer, but below average pitching will leave the White Sox where they’ve been since 2008 … out of the postseason yet again.
Not to pressure the pitching staff of the White Sox, but the revamped ’15 White Sox roster will only go as far as their pitching takes them. That can be said about any team in the majors, but especially the White Sox this upcoming season.
Last year the White Sox were ranked 13th out of the 15 teams in the American League in team ERA at 4.29. Compare that to the AL leading Seattle Mariners who finished with a 3.17 ERA last year.
With their 36 saves in ’14 the White Sox were 11th in the AL, and the entire pitching staff finished as the fourth worst team in the AL by allowing over 1,400 hits. The White Sox also allowed the third most runs with 758 and earned runs with 687.
Chicago also led the AL with 557 walks, were 12th in strikeouts ad 13th in batting average against opponents, .265. There was also the WHIP of the White Sox ’14 pitching staff at 1.41, next to last in the AL.
Those numbers alone forced the White Sox to make many changes to the aforementioned pitching staff. Some of the pitchers from ’14 are no longer an option for the White Sox (a good thing), and unless you were really immersed with the NFL you know about the changes made there.
Sep 9, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (50) reacts during the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The top three in that rotation I will take over any other top three in all of baseball, that is how much I believe in those three guys. The back end of the rotation, eh, there are few concerns.
Still with that said, having the additions and subtractions the White Sox have made thus far this offseason, it will be no secret the White Sox will only go as far as their pitching will take them.
Lets look at the No. 4 and No. 5 potential starters: Danls and Noesi.
Noesi was 8-12 with a 4.75 ERA in ’14. He pitched 172.1 innings in 33 games (27 starts). Danks was 11-11 with a 4.74 ERA in 32 starts. Danks pitched 193.2 innings, where opponents batted .269 off him.
Danks last had a winning record in ’10 when he was 15-11 with a 3.72 ERA.
That said the White Sox are in need of Noesi and Danks to have better than near a 5.00 ERA’s in ’15, because if it does happen it could hurt the White Sox being in contention for the AL Central title. If the play of Danks and Noesi hurts that contention opportunity, we know the White Sox would most likely make the moves to improve those spots in the rotation. At least thus far the White Sox haven’t been scared to make a move that will improve the team.
What are your thoughts on the pitching of the White Sox? Are you comfortable in who they have on the roster. If not, what should they do?
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In other White Sox news:
• At isportsweb.com there is an article on the White Sox bullpen.
• Bleacher Report had MLB Power Rankings as we rang in the new year.
• CSN Chicago writes about how Samardzija can “handle the pressure” of moving from the Cubs to the White Sox.