Biggest White Sox questions before spring training

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Aug 17, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) hits a grand slam home against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

As we are less than two weeks away from the start of spring training, there are plenty of questions surrounding this Chicago White Sox team. Here are some of those questions.

Who is going to be the primary catcher?

Sep 2, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Geovany Soto (17) catches a foul ball against the Seattle Mariners during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The team has gone out and signed Geovany Soto to a minor league deal.  He’s been a catcher for Jeff Samardzija on two different teams already, so I like his chances at least the backup role.

Chicago also has Rob Brantly, Adrian Nieto, Kevan Smith, and George Kottaras (who is a non-roster invitee) in the organization as well, so there should be a lot of competition at the position this spring.

The incumbent is Tyler Flowers, but I’d love for Soto to hit and remain healthy enough to supplant Flowers at some point this year.

Is the bullpen fixed?

Signing David Robertson and Zach Duke are moves in the right direction. Many of the guys who were part of the problematic bullpen last year are still around.

The good news is that their roles have changed and they have a year more experience, so the hope is that with a more defined role, they can succeed. If Duke and Robertson remain healthy as they have for the majority of their careers, the pen should be better.

The wildcards could be Jesse Crain and Carlos Rodon.

Crain hasn’t thrown a big league pitch since last pitching for the White Sox in ’13, but when he’s healthy, he’s been among the best relievers in baseball.

Rodon is looking to make the team in his first big league camp. He projects as a starter but may be better suited to break in as a reliever and get a taste of the majors in small doses.

Next: Which Alexei Ramirez will we see in 2015?

Who are the options as the 5th starter?

Sep 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Hector Noesi (48) walks to the dugout at the end of the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Right now Hector Noesi is the man pegged to fill this role but he will and should have competition.

We already talked about Rodon and how he could and eventually will become a starter in this rotation whether it’s this year or next.

Brad Penny was a non-roster invitee and with a strong spring could make the team but I hope not.

Erik Johnson has had opportunities, but has not shown enough yet to stay up. More than likely it is going to be Noesi, but I would not be surprised if they sign someone else and make this an actual competition.

Brandon Beachy is available and could add value later in the season when he has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.

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