White Sox: 2018 Key to Development of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 13: Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 13: Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito /
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The future of the White Sox pitching rotation should be partially on display in 2018. Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez will get their first full season in the bigs.

Don’t expect the Chicago White Sox to compete in 2018. But that doesn’t mean the season isn’t important for other reasons. One of the most important reasons the season is key is due to the development of Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Both youngsters should be in the starting rotation and get their first full major league season under their belt.

It’ll be an important year of development for them. It’s the first time they will both go through the grind of an entire major league season. Both looked great in limited action this past season. 2018 really gives the duo the chance to go out there, make mistakes and figure out big league pitching. It should be relatively stress free with the team not likely to contend.

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Pitching in a playoff race and pitching with a non-contender is definitely different. But you have to crawl before you walk. It’ll be fun to see how these two handle a full season. And what sort of numbers they can put up. If 2017 was any indication, fans should definitely be in for a treat.

Everything is there for Giolito and Lopez to succeed. Don Cooper is a great pitching coach and the organization seemed to do things in the right way in 2017. As in not rushing these guys to the majors.

The one thing lacking is the presence of a veteran arm that can guide them. Sure, the White Sox have James Shields. But he is coming off an injury and he’s not as effective as he once was. Yeah he can give them some advice but I think you’d rather have it come from someone who is still pitching effectively. To combat that, this team should look into signing a veteran free agent. It’ll give them someone else who can eat up innings and also give Giolito and Lopez someone else than can teach and mentor them.

Next: What Role Will Nicky Delmonico Play Next Season?

The future of the White Sox isn’t quite complete now but 2018 will prove to be an important year in the development of their young pitchers. And the organization needs to do everything in their power to make sure they are set up for success.