Opening Day is upon us. Earlier today, the Chicago White Sox officially announced that 2022 All-Star snub Dylan Cease will be pitching on Opening Day against the reigning World Series champions, the Houston Astros, at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros have decided to go with their ace, Framber Valdez. Therefore, Dylan Cease and Framber Valdez will go head to head on Opening Day, March 30th.
Now that the Opening Day pitcher is announced, how does that shape up the rest of the White Sox rotation in order from top to bottom? The White Sox feels that Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Mike Clevinger, and Michael Kopech is the best way to roll it.
The White Sox set their rotation for the beginning of the 2023 season.
Lance Lynn had an up-and-down year last season, all due to his injury during Spring Training. It took him a while to get back into a groove but he found it. Hopefully, that will continue into 2023.
He has had a rocky career in Minute Maid Park/against the Astros so it will be interesting to see what version of Lance Lynn we get during his first start of the 2023 campaign.
Lance Lynn is a tremendous number-two arm in this rotation. Expect him to be a leader in the clubhouse with everyone on the roster.
Lucas Giolito is set to be the third man in the rotation for 2023. Giolito is coming off of one of his worst years in the majors but many are expecting a better version of himself to come back out this upcoming season.
Giolito lost all his added weight from 2022 to 2023. Hopefully, that gets him back to where he needs to be. On top of that, he also has decided to use a new arm slot.
This is the biggest season of Giolito's major league career. If he performs well, he should be expecting a hefty paycheck in the off-season when he becomes a free agent.
Whether he signs somewhere else in 2024 or not, the White Sox organization and their fans want Gio to succeed significantly this year.
Next up is Mike Clevinger. He is coming off a year of playing through injury, granted he pitched in the best division in all of baseball last season. The White Sox signed him on a one-year deal and his expectations from the organization are super high.
Clevinger had performed at a high-level numerous times. He needs to stay healthy which is fitting for this 2023 White Sox roster.
The controversy surrounding Mike Clevinger throughout spring training will likely continue into the 2023 season and it's up to only himself to perform on the mound productively while also blocking out all the noise.
Set to start the home opener versus the San Francisco Giants is Michael Kopech.
Kopech is coming off an up-and-down 2022. His first half of last year's season was great but the second half lacked everything White Sox fans were looking for.
His health was non-existent and his velocity was down for most of his starts after June. If Kopech stays healthy and can pitch many innings, he will be the best fifth starter in baseball.
This White Sox rotation has personal and team goals. If they stay healthy collectively, White Sox fans could be witnessing one of the best rotations of franchise history in 2023.