The Chicago White Sox are trending up in the AL Central
The White Sox are pulled out from a heavy rebuild by spending a lot of money on high-end free agents this winter, but some doubt they’ve done enough to succeed.
Our staff is taking a look around the AL Central in advance of the season by chatting with fellow writers and getting their take on a number of questions about their teams. We’ve already previewed the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals. Recently, I sat down with Vincent Parise of the Southside Showdown to talk about the Chicago White Sox’s off-season, what prospects to look out for, what players Detroit Tigers fans should look out for and whether they have enough to make a playoff run.
Motor City Bengals: With the extensions of Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and now Aaron Bummer a few weeks back, do Chicago White Sox fans and your staff feel this was the right preemptive measure?
Vincent Parise: Yes! With Bummer, he proved that he has what it takes to be a piece of a strong bullpen. Robert and Jimenez each got their contracts before playing a single game. Jimenez’ proved to be a strong decision so the hope is that Robert falls in the same category.
Chicago’s off-season was very aggressive as they were the first team to strike, signing Yasmani Grandal. How will this help this young pitching staff and the young core that is set in place?
Yasmani Grandal is statistically one of the best catchers in the league. He will help the young guys on the mound grow their game and he will insert his big bat in the middle of an already strong starting lineup.
Speaking of pitching, how much does it mean to have Dallas Keuchel in the rotation?
Adding Dallas is huge. Outside of Lucas Giolito, every other pitcher had a question mark. Some other guys have really high ceilings, but Keuchel is going to be there bringing a consistent front line starter.
Nick Madrigal, Andrew Vaughn are the next crop of prospects. Who else should we know about that Tigers fans may need to know about?
Zack Collins has really burst onto the scene this spring. He has been highly touted for a few years now but just seems to be getting it. Hopefully, it can translate into the regular season in 2020.
Michael Kopech’s return in 2020 is key. What is your expectation for him?
Vincent: Kopech has the potential to be an elite pitcher. If he stays healthy, he just needs to go out there and do it. His fastball has movement on it that not many people and the world have. He might be the most electric pitcher to watch in the organization
Final question. Does this team have enough to overcome Minnesota and Cleveland in the Al Central to make the post-season?
For me, it is between the White Sox and the Twins. The Indians are a good team but I think the White Sox have done enough to pass them up. I am not convinced yet that they will be better than the Twins, but it is certainly a possibility. My prediction right now is that they play the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card game.
Thank you to Vincent Parise for answering our questions! Follow him on Twitter at @VinnieParise.