Over the weekend, the Chicago White Sox made a really smart signing. They’re bringing back Elvis Andrus after he was one of the bright spots to end last season. He should make a big impact.
Of course, the Oakland A’s let him go after the trade deadline last year so that he can try and latch on with a better team. That is when he found his way to the south side of Chicago.
The White Sox are much better than Oakland but they still weren’t able to take advantage of the good vibes that he brought to the table both on and off the field. Now he is back trying to make a similar impact but with better team results.
Tim Anderson is back so Andrus is going to be moving over to second base for the second time in his career. He is also not going to be the leadoff man as long as Anderson is there either.
The Chicago White Sox are hoping for a big year for their bats in 2023.
As a result of the new pretty good depth, this group has a chance to be really good with Andrus in the mix in 2023. Everyone needs to stay healthy and carry their weight a little bit better than they did in 2022 which is possible.
There are a lot of ways that the lineup can be drawn up. Pedro Grifol is in his first year ever as a Major League manager so he might try a bunch of different things but this is the perfect lineup with Andrus in the mix:
1. Tim Anderson - SS
2. Andrew Benintendi - LF
3. Luis Robert - CF
4. Eloy Jimenez - DH
5. Andrew Vaughn - 1B
6. Yoan Moncada - 3B
7. Yasmani Grandal - C
8. Oscar Colas - RF
9. Elvis Andrus - 2B
There are pieces to consider like Gavin Sheets, Romy Gonzalez, and Leury Garcia amongst others as well. There are a lot of reasons for those guys to get time throughout the year and there will be some others as well.
Oscar Colas is batting eighth here. Some people think Andrus should bat higher than him but it is better to have Andrus in the nine-spot with the opportunity to flip the lineup back to the top. If Colas works out as well, then they are even deeper than they thought.
Jose Abreu isn't in the lineup anymore so guys like Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and Andrew Vaughn will have to be even better than before. Replacing him won't be easy but they have the talent in their bats to do so.
Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal each had tough years offensively last year. Having them bounce back would be huge and batting sixth/seventh could help them do that.
The top of the order is certainly interesting. Tim Anderson is back and should be the leadoff guy for them. With Andrew Benintendi coming in, he would be the perfect player hitting right behind Tim in the two-hole.
This group has its skeptics but it should be one that is good enough to score some runs. If everyone plays to their potential, this could be a really good team. Obviously, the pitching needs to live up to their hype just as much for this to be successful.