Chicago White Sox Opening Day Roster Projection

The hope is the team does not lose 100 games this year.

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Designated Hitter: Eloy Jimenez

This is the year Jimenez has to stay healthy and live up to his immense potential. This is the final season of the guaranteed years in the six-year, $43 million contract he signed in 2019. He has a $16.5 million club option for next season and an $18.5 million team option for 2026. That is $35 million on the line for Eloy who has never played more than 122 games.

He hit a career-high 31 home runs in 2019 but has not hit over 20 since. He is raking in spring training. If the Sox get that to carry over into this season, and he plays regularly, the team will have a valuable trade piece or a player they can use for two more seasons if they can get competitive by 2025.

Also, Eloy showed he can play right field in a pinch although he should stay at DH.

Utility Players: Kevin Pillar (OF), Gavin Sheets (1B/OF), and Zach Remillard (INF)

The Sox could decide to go young with their fourth outfielder in Zach DeLoach. Veteran Brett Philips is a non-roster invitee who plays great defense, but he is all glove and no bat.

The veteran Pillar gets the nod over these two as he is having the better spring at the plate. That is not saying much as he has a .231 batting average.

He is a veteran who provides a good clubhouse presence, and the team wants to upgrade in that area. Sheets is having a great spring training and can play right and first. Veteran Mike Moustakas is in camp as a non-roster invite, but he is struggling this spring. He still might get consideration since he can play first, third, and second base in a pinch.

Both hit from the left side of the plate. Sheets is playing better and younger, so that is why he gets the nod.

Braden Shewmake would have made the Opening Day roster as the utility infielder had he not sprained his ankle. He looks to be out for two to four weeks, so he is slated to start the season on the IL.

In that case, Remillard should get the nod over Danny Mendick as Remillard is having the better spring at the plate.

Starting Rotation: Garrett Crochet, Erick Fedde, Michael Soroka, Chris Flexin, and Nick Nastrini

There is not much drama here as the White Sox do not have any other options on the roster to be a starter.

Jared Shuster was sent to minor league camp after he struggled. Touki Toussaint has gotten shelled. Brad Keller has done nothing to overtake Nastrini. Plus, it is better to give a young prospect a shot to be the fifth starter rather than Keller who has never been very good as a starting pitcher.

Bullpen: Michael Kopech, Jordan Leasure, Steven Wilson, Tanner Banks, Deivi Garcia, Tim Hill, John Brebbia, Jake Cousins

Kopech has been moved to the bullpen permanently. He could be the closer to start the season with his stuff. Brebbia could also close as he is back on the mound after missing most of camp with an injury.

Young pitchers like Leasure and Garcia have earned a spot in the bullpen. Wilson was slated to be one of the San Diego Padres setup pitchers before he was included in the Dylan Cease trade. He will probably be put into that role with the Sox.

Hill has been solid this spring and can be the lefty out of the pen. Banks is also a southpaw, but he will be needed for long relief. Toussaint can also make the roster in this role.

Cousins is having a good spring and can throw some gas out of the pen. He is a castoff from the Milwaukee Brewers who still has good stuff. Dominic Leone could just as easily be put on the roster instead of Cousins. Veteran Jesse Chavez is still in camp too although his numbers have not been very good.

The bullpen has a chance to be the strength of this time even though most of these guys you have never heard of, are castoffs, or are way past their prime.

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