Chicago White Sox: The best team in the AL Central
By Samiya Green
The Chicago White Sox has arrived! The countless amount of players acquired in the offseason has made them a sure threat in the AL Central.
The tables have turned in Chicago. The Chicago White Sox has taken control of the “who runs Chicago baseball” narrative and is at the forefront of dominating in 2020. Without a doubt, this team has it’s best chance in a while of making the postseason and is shaping up to be dangerous in the AL Central. The White Sox have added power bats, an improvement at starting pitching, and additional bullpen help. It’s looking like the best team in the AL Central is the Chicago White Sox.
The first move made by the White Sox was the signing of Yasmani Grandal, which improved their depth at catcher significantly. Last year, Grandal’s OPS was a career-high .848. Also, he hit a career-high in home runs and RBIs ending the season with 28 and 77, even though he’s been in the league for nine years. Grandal is still producing and has upgraded the White Sox batting lineup. His signing sent a message to people that this team is no longer missing out on top free agents.
After Grandal, came an outfielder with some potential. Nomar Mazara was traded to the White Sox as the franchise aims to strengthen the right field position. When the news broke, there were mixed reactions to Mazara because fans had their sights set on Nicholas Castellanos to fill that role. While Mazara has not exactly lived up to expectations, Josh Finklestein did a piece on how he can still be a key player and other hitters that could add more depth to the right field.
At this point, the fans were looking for a big signing and sure enough more than one arrived. Heavy-hitting veteran Edwin Encarnacion signed to the White Sox to bring his power at the plate. There is no doubt his parrot will walk throughout Guaranteed Rate Field more than a few times. Along with him, Dallas Keuchel signed right at the end of 2019, which truly put all eyes on the White Sox.
It was obvious to everyone that taking care of pitching was very important and with the signings of Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez, there has been a lot of advancement in that area. Also, the most recent signing of Steve Cishek was a great pickup to round out the bullpen. It’s fair to say that pitching trouble took away too many wins for the White Sox and other teams had that advantage but now it’s a different story.
The Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins are two teams that have been the most competitive with the White Sox. Last season, the Indians pitching was fourth in ERA in the league and the Twins was eighth. At 22nd in the ERA column, was the White Sox but without Trevor Bauer, the Indians will be less threatening on the mound. The Twins are in an interesting starting pitching situation.
The Minnesota Twins signed Homer Bailey and Rich Hill. Hill is the pitcher a chance to make more of an impact. Last season, he had an ERA of 3.75. Their best pitchers, Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios have proven to be vulnerable throughout the season and they will be depended on the most by their ballclub.
When you factor in the power and consistent hitting the Chicago White Sox have, there is not a team in the AL Central that has that kind of balance at the plate. The Twins have realized that they need consistent hitting and have been reportedly trying to get help in that area, so they can compete with the White Sox. With players like Tim Anderson who led the league in batting average and Yoan Moncada who led the team in OPS with a .915, this team is bound to win the division in 2020 with young stars and accomplished veterans.