White Sox begin Spring Training play with contest against Dodgers on Saturday. What are some storylines for the spring?
With the Chicago White Sox opening up Cactus League play Saturday at Camelback Ranch versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, it makes sense to discuss some Spring Training storylines. Given there are many, here are the key issues facing the club as they prepare for the 2017 season.
Do they make any more moves?
The offseason was littered with trade rumors, and they haven’t calmed down a bit since the club reported to Arizona. David Robertson has been bandied about the most in talks, with the Nationals as a likely destination.
Jose Quintana would bring back the most in return, however it might make sense to hold on to him until July. Another player that could go would be Todd Frazier, who has been connected to many teams, one of which was the Boston Red Sox.
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All the great young arms in camp
While the Sox have drafted some of their own talented pitchers, they acquired a significant amount of it externally this offseason. While stockpiling Spencer Adams, Carlos Rodon, Carson Fulmer, Alec Hansen, and Zack Burdi over the last several years, the influx of gifted arms this winter will add great pitching depth to their system.
Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning are all big league talents who have the potential to succeed with the Sox. Any future trades could also bring additional front line starters to the club, therefore the Sox are in the process of putting together a staff that could be together for years.
Garcia has been an enigma for most of his time at the big league level, the legitimate 5-tool player who fails to use almost all of them. Outside of outfield assists (career high 17 in 2015), he hasn’t done much of anything on the South Side, and the question now has to be asked will he ever?
While a swing adjustment may be in order, until he understands the strike zone not a whole lot will improve. The great power will always be there, but getting into hitters counts is crucial in the major leagues, which he often fails to do. If Garcia never develops, the centerpiece of the Jake Peavy trade will unfortunately be a bust.
Overall, the countless players the Sox need to develop is critical this spring. Two others I did not mention are Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada, who will make up the middle of the infield down the road on the South Side. If they are properly developed along with the plethora of young arms, the Sox could be a good shape for a while.
This season is going to be one of development, Sox fans. I hope you all know that patience is a virtue.