How will the World Baseball Classic affect the White Sox?

Cuba v Rakuten Monkeys
Cuba v Rakuten Monkeys / Gene Wang/GettyImages

The 2023 World Baseball Classic is getting underway this week and it will have a direct impact on the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox are sending several players to the Classic to compete for their respective countries.

We will talk about which players are going with what teams here in a little bit but we want to consider a question. Does playing in the World Baseball Classic help or hurt the Chicago White Sox?

I would venture to say that playing in the World Baseball Classic is beneficial for those that participate in it. They are playing games that not only mean something but are also at a higher competition level than spring training games.

The World Baseball Classic is a big deal. The competition is elite. The stakes are high and that kind of competition can bring out the best in a player and getting the best out of them is what matters.

The World Baseball Classic has plenty of Chicago White Sox players.

I think that the increased competition will help these guys prepare for the season better than spring training games.

The White Sox are sending the following players to the World Baseball Classic. For the United States, shortstop Tim Anderson and pitchers Lance Lynn and Kendall Graveman are going to suit up and play.

For Cuba, third baseman Yoan Moncada and center fielder Luis Robert, Jr. are going to swing the bats for their home country.

Outfielder and designated hitter Eloy Jimenez will play for the Dominican Republic. Pitcher Nicholas Padilla will try to help the Puerto Rican team win some games. The Venezuelan team is going to have pitcher Jose Ruiz available to play.

The biggest worry about playing in such a series of games is injury. Unfortunately, the White Sox are sending some injury-prone guys to the Classic including Robert Jr., Jimenez, and Anderson.

Fans, along with the White Sox staff and coaches, are going to cross their fingers in hopes that no one ends up getting hurt playing ball. If the guys can return healthy, that will be huge.

I think that the experience will help the players more than it hurts them. I think that they will get to continue their progression toward the regular Major League Baseball season by getting some good reps with these teams.

As I mentioned, the competition is going to be fierce and that will help get them ready for the fierce competition that they are going to face when the season starts.

The only other drawback, aside from injury worries, is that without some of these players in the lineup at spring training, team building and leadership will be missing a bit.

We all know that Anderson is the emotional leader of the White Sox so having him gone for a while might take away from some of the leadership need on the team. It also helps to have everyone together to build the team and foster relationships.

The absences of these eight players may not be terribly detrimental but for team building, it hurts just a little especially with the Major League starters playing in the World Baseball Classic. But overall, this should be a good experience for the White Sox and shouldn’t hurt them in the least.

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