The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Chicago White Sox roster and schedule:
WHITE SOX ROSTER (projected)
When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.
In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the White Sox roster to begin the season:
The White Sox have not had a winning record since 2012 but things seem poised to change. Partially because of a lot of maturing young talent, partially because of a big offseason free agent spending spree, and partially because they are playing in a division where one power — Cleveland — is fading and two other teams — Detroit, Kansas City — are well behind them on their rebuilds. The Twins are likely still too strong for the Sox to challenge, but Chicago should be much improved and, if things break right, they could really surprise.
The Sox’ signing of Yasmani Grandal, who is arguably the best catcher in baseball, to a four-year, $73 million deal was a big, bold move that many a fan would wish their rebuilding team would make. He’ll add serious pop to the middle of the order. That, adding Encarnación to shore up what was terrible production from the DH slot last year, extending Abreu, and signing Luis Robert to an extension that ensures that he’ll break camp with the club all signals that the club has finally turned to win-now mode.
There are a few questions regarding the rotation, especially now that Michael Kopech has opted out of the season and given that Carlos Rodón, while rehabbing nicely and reportedly ramping up, is not quite ready to go following Tommy John surgery. As it is, Giolito has emerged as an ace and Keuchel and Gonzalez, though not the pitchers they once were, should be solid and consistent. Cease and Lopez are the big question marks, and how they fare will dictate a lot for the White Sox this year.
An excellent young core, a lot of veterans who can and should still be productive, and some young talent that should mature and could possibly surprise as the season goes on give White Sox fans a lot to be excited about.
WHITE SOX SCHEDULE:
Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.
White Sox home stands will be July 24-26 (Twins), August 5-9 (Brewers, Indians), August 13-20 (Cardinals, Tigers), August 25-30 (Pirates, Royals), September 11-17 (Tigers, Twins), September 25-27 (Cubs).