Diving into the depths: Chicago White Sox

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Chicago White Sox
Rotation
1. Mark Buehrle
2. Jake Peavy
3. Gavin Floyd
4. John Danks
5. Freddy Garcia
6. Dan Hudson
7. Brandon Hynick
8. Carlos Torres
9. Lucas Harrell
10. Jeff Marquez
The rotation is set, assuming good health. Hudson seems like a better bet than Garcia to me, but it makes plenty of sense to hold him in reserve initially. After him, there isn’t very much depth in the organization. Hynick has pretty good command, but I think he’d struggle mightily with the home run ball if thrown into U.S. Cellular.
Bullpen
1. Bobby Jenks
2. Matt Thornton
3. J.J. Putz
4. Tony Pena
5. Scott Linebrink
6. Randy Williams
7. Carlos Torres
8. Freddy Dolsi
9. Sergio Santos
10. Brian Omogrosso
11. Daniel Cabrera
12. Dan Hudson
13. Jhonny Nunez
14. Jeff Marquez
15. Derek Rodriguez
16. Greg Aquino
17. Santo Luis
18. Clevelan Santeliz
The bullpen, on the other hand, has two open spots, though Williams would seem to be the clear favorite for one after being kept on the 40-man roster all winter. The White Sox would also be very open to dumping Linebrink’s contract if given the chance, but it’s doubtful that they’ll have the opportunity.
Santos, a converted shortstop, isn’t nearly ready to help, but he is out of options and the White Sox may keep him as their 12th pitcher if he impresses at all this spring.


Catcher
1. A.J. Pierzynski
2. Ramon Castro
3. Tyler Flowers
4. Cole Armstrong
5. Donny Lucy
First base
1. Paul Konerko
2. Mark Kotsay
3. Mark Teahen
Second base
1. Gordon Beckham
2. Jayson Nix
3. Omar Vizquel
4. Brent Lillibridge
Third base
1. Mark Teahen
2. Omar Vizquel
3. Jayson Nix
4. Dayan Viciedo
Shortstop
1. Alexei Ramirez
2. Omar Vizquel
3. Jayson Nix
I think Beckham does belong at second base, but the White Sox are going to have a weak defensive infield with this group. Ramirez is still iffy to last at shortstop, and Teahen is below average at third. Beckham, who was drafted as a shortstop, might be the best defender here if he can adapt quickly.
Left field
1. Carlos Quentin
2. Andruw Jones
3. Jordan Danks
4. Mark Kotsay
5. Stefan Gartrell
6. Josh Kroeger
Center field
1. Juan Pierre
2. Alex Rios
3. Mark Kotsay
4. Jordan Danks
5. Alejandro De Aza
Right field
1. Alex Rios
2. Andruw Jones
3. Mark Kotsay
4. Alejandro De Aza
5. Stefan Gartrell
6. Josh Kroeger
Designated hitter
1. Andruw Jones
2. Paul Konerko
3. Carlos Quentin
4. Mark Kotsay
5. Jason Botts
6. Tyler Flowers
Barring an addition, it looks like Jones could be the primary DH early on. Maybe Flowers will be a factor there at midseason, but he’ll probably start off as the catcher for Triple-A Charlotte. The bench spots will go to Kotsay, Vizquel, Castro and probably either Nix or De Aza.

Kyle Schwarber: Before and After

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It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear  a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.

Which brings us to Kyle Schwarber. All offseason long we’ve been getting reports about Schwarber working out, losing weight and, of course, getting into The Best Shape of His Life. And some of those pics have definitely shown a young man who has cut fat and gotten lean. Good for him!

Let’s see how that translates to Schwarber in uniform. Here is is at spring training last year:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 21, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

 

Here he is toward the end of last season:

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 09: at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

And here he is now:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 20: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 20, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Nice goin’, kid.