Chicago White Sox to give young arms starts this weekend
By Brian Draus
Erik Johnson and Frankie Montas are set to start over the weekend for the Chicago White Sox.
With the season wrapping up this weekend versus the Detroit Tigers, the White Sox will send two of their most promising young arms to the hill. Considering the fact that Johnson and Montas are expected to play a big part of the White Sox future, it is key for the team to get a bit of a look at both of them before the 2016 season.
Erik Johnson could very well be a part of the White Sox rotation in 2016, considering the fact that he has pitched well in September (3-1, 3.45 ERA). While Johnson is giving up far too many home runs (seven), he could be a mid to back-end starter for the White Sox next year. Johnson gives the White Sox a cheap alternative in the rotation, with the ability to give the team quality innings. While he probably won’t ever be a star, it is possible for Johnson to eat up innings and give the White Sox starting pitching depth.
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Frankie Montas probably has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Chicago White Sox system. With a fastball that scrapes 100 MPH, not to mention the potential for both a quality slider and a solid change Montas could be a front-end starter someday. However, Montas is very raw and he needs to develop. Even with all of his ability, Montas struggles with control and if he doesn’t get ahead of big league hitters it won’t matter how good his stuff is.
Long term, I think there is a very good chance that Johnson will be in the White Sox rotation for a while. Montas is a question mark (due to how raw he is), but has the ability to be a star in the major leagues. Considering the fact that 2015 1st round pick Carson Fulmer is going to be in the White Sox rotation sometime soon, the White Sox could have a very good core of young pitchers to build around.
If these young arms are able to develop into good MLB pitchers, it will make the White Sox much better. It would give them a significant amount of payroll flexibility, considering the fact that young pitching is the most effective way to build a winner. With the price of buying a pitcher (trade or free agency), being so high if a team can develop its own pitching the money can be put into the rest of the club. The White Sox need to make changes if they want to win in 2016, but there is the potential for a good young core on the South Side.