While there are many good players on the roster of the Chicago White Sox, who concerns you the most?
Last week, I wrote about positions of weakness for the White Sox, now lets look at players of weakness who draw attention as a concern for the ball club.
Geovany Soto – Catcher
Backup catcher is a going to be a major concern of the White Sox, just due to the fact that starting catcher may be the biggest weakness of the position players.
Soto has had success at the MLB level, but over the last few years he has had injury problems.
Can Soto produce the way he once did? If so he will eventually be the White Sox starting catcher, considering the fact that he hit over .280 twice in his career.
Can he get back to those days?
That is highly unlikely, but if he can even by 70-percent of what he was the White Sox will have a solid backup catcher. If not, White Sox fans may have something to worry about behind the plate.
Sep 21, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks (50) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
John Danks – Starting Pitcher
Since Danks suffered an injury in ’12, Danks has not been the same pitcher.
Danks no longer has the same zip on his fastball following that injury, making him very hittable. From ’08-10, Danks never had an ERA above 3.77. Since then, his ERA has never been below 4.33 (’11) making him one of, if not the worst starter in the White Sox rotation.
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On top of that, Danks is making eight figures, meaning he is well over paid. That means the White Sox will have a difficult, if not impossible time trading him.
Can he become at least an average pitcher this season? The White Sox hope so, because if he doesn’t they will have a tough time winning on the days he makes starts. The best case scenario is he finishes with a .500 record.
Mar 10, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham (15) during a spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium. The White Sox beat the Royals 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Gordon Beckham – Utility Player
While Beckham has always been a solid defender, will he be able to hit enough in the role he is in?
While he will not be a starter in ’15, he may be called upon to start in a platoon role or if someone gets hurt throughout times during the season.
Beckham’s defense is solid, however his bat has been below average at the MLB level. If Beckham could be a 20-25 home run per year hitter, the team could accept his .245 career average (which he doesn’t).
However, I think Beckham, a former first-round selection, has proven himself to be a role player at the MLB level which he could excel at due to his defensive prowess.
Will the hit enough assuming someone goes down? That is the question White Sox fans need ask themselves if Beckham is put into an everyday role.
These players may turn out to surprise White Sox fans. That is unlikely, but it is hard to tell right now.
If I were to guess, none of the above will carry the team, but all three could play a big role in the teams success if the White Sox are to succeed.
While there are other concerns, these players stick out in my mind most. Hopefully, there are no players that struggle, though over a 162 game season that is unlikely.
Thankfully for the White Sox, none of these players are expected to be the difference between winning a division championship and finishing in last place. If they succeed great, but if they don’t, there will be others to take their place.