BaseballMonkey Clearance Craze! Up to 50% Off Bats, Gloves & Mots, Balls, Apparel and more! Shop Now!
Legends On Deck

How They Were Built: 2015 Chicago White Sox

Starting Pitchers

Chris Sale – Drafted in the first round by the White Sox in the 2010 draft.  The 6’6 southpaw has done nothing other than make three straight All-Star teams after being switched from a reliever to a starter in 2012.  He is 44-29 in his young career with an ERA of 2.76.  A definite ace on the pitching staff, Chicago locked Sale up for five-years and $32.5 million with club options in 2018 and 2019.  Sale is a strikeout machine averaging over 208 strikeouts as a starter at a rate of 9.8 K/9.

Jeff Samardzija – Acquired in a trade with the Oakland A’s in December.  Samardzija was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the fifth round of the 2006 draft, and made his major league debut in July of 2008.  He spent most of the beginning of his career coming out of the bullpen until making the jump to the rotation in 2012.  He has not possessed a winning record as a starting pitcher yet, but the move to the White Sox may change that with the lineup that are building.  Samardzija is 36-48 with an ERA of 3.85 so far in his career.

Jose Quintana – Signed a one-year free agent contract with the White Sox in 2013.  Quintana was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Mets in 2006.  Spent time in the Mets system before being released and signed by the Yankees.  After a couple of seasons in their system he was released and signed on with the White Sox.  He has three seasons in the major leagues with the White Sox and is 24-24 with an ERA of 3.50.  He is proving that he will give you 200 innings and almost a strikeout per, and will certainly see a change in the win/loss with the White Sox offseason moves.  Quintana signed a five-year $21 million contract extension last march and it holds club options in 2019 and 2020.

John Danks – Acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers in 2006.  It is hard to believe that Danks is entering his ninth season in the major leagues and has now been bumped possibly to number four in the rotation.  I am pretty sure that isn’t what the White Sox had in mind when they signed him to a five-year $65 million extension in 2011.  With the exception of the 2012 season, Danks has been very durable over the span of his career and is a past 15-game winner.  He will become a free agent after the 2016 season unless an extension is reached.

Hector Noesi – Selected off waivers from the Texas Rangers in April of 2014.  Noesi, 27, made 27 starts for the White Sox last season, going 8-11 with an ERA over four.  Signed as a 19-year old by the New York Yankees, Noesi had some success in the minor leagues which hasn’t necessarily carried over so far in the big leagues.  So far in his career he is 12-27 with an ERA of5.16.  There may be other options for the White Sox in this position but as of right now the job could be Noesi’s.

Bullpen

David Robertson (CL) – Signed a four-year $46 million free agent deal in 2014.  There are two reasons why this move was good for Robertson.  One, he won’t have to be compared to or looked to to replace the legend of Mariano Rivera.  Two, he will be given the role of closer with no questions and potentially no competition for the job.  Robertson was the closer for the New York Yankees in 2014 and did a real good job.  He recorded 39 saves while appearing in 63 games.  His ERA was probably a little high (compared to Rivera’s) but the White Sox have a guy they can call on in the ninth that has closing experience.

Zach Putnam – Signed as a free agent in 2013.  Putnam was given a chance to play last season and responded quite nicely.  In 49 appearances he registered a record of 5-3 with a 1.98 ERA.  Last season was the first extended look he was given in the big leagues.

Zach Duke – Signed as a free agent in 2014 by the White Sox.  One of the most promising young starters when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Duke battled injury and some ineffectiveness before regaining his form last season as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.  He appeared in 74 games in 2014 with a 5-1 record and a 2.45 ERA.  The lefty may have found his home in the middle to late innings of a ballgame.  Whatever it was netted him a three-year $15 million contract with the White Sox.

Daniel Webb – Acquired in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays in December of 2012.  Webb was an original draft pick of the Blue Jays back in 2009.  He made his debut in the majors as a member of the White Sox in 2013.  He appeared in 57 games last season out of the bullpen finishing 26 of them.  He has a tendency to walk a lot of hitters but does have the ability to get people out as well.  Should be a decent option out of the bullpen.

Jake Petricka – Drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft by the White Sox.  Petricka was a workhorse last season appearing in 67 games.  He ended the season with a record of 1-6 but had a relatively low ERA of 2.96.  He has a low strikeout per nine ratio but does have a chance to make the team.

Starting Lineup

Tyler Flowers (C) – Acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Braves in 2008.  Flowers assumed the role of the starting catcher last season and did well.  He played in 127 games hitting .241 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI.  Flowers is also good defensively making just six errors for a .991 fielding percentage.  He has seen his workload increase every season since his debut in 2009.  One thing that will be interesting and worth keeping an eye on this spring is the catcher position.  Flowers will most likely be the starter but may have some competition as the White Sox signed Geovany Soto.

Jose Abreu (1B) – Signed with the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 2013.  Chicago made the news with the record-breaking contract they signed Cuban defector Abreu to in the offseason of 2013.  It is news that they certainly didn’t regret and most likely won’t.  Abreu was given a six-year $68 million contract but the White Sox and lived up to everything that was out there on him.  He finished the season hitting .317 with 36 home runs and 107 RBI.  He led the league in slugging (.581) and had an on base percentage of .389 and an OPS of .964.  He won the Rookie of the Year award, made the All-Star team, won the Silver Slugger Award, and finished fourth in MVP voting.  Abreu is the real deal and fans should expect more of the same from the 27-year old.

Carlos Sanchez (2B) – Signed with the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 2009.  After long-time starting second baseman Gordon Beckham was shipped out of town in August, the White Sox will go with Sanchez to take over the duties as second.  He made his debut in July last season appearing in 28 games hitting .250.  Sanchez is possibly holding a spot for prospect Micah Johnson who may debut later this season.

Conor Gillaspie (3B) – Acquired in a trade with the San Francisco Giants in February 2013.  Gillaspie had a decent year which was his second as a starter.  He hit .282 in 130 games, but had some difficulty in the field.  The White Sox have Matt Davidson in the minor league system that could make an appearance and also Emilio Bonifacio coming off the bench.

Alexei Ramirez (SS) – Signed with the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 2008.  Ramirez, 32, is entering his eighth season in the major leagues.  He made his very first All-Star team in 2014 and had a real good year at the plate.  He hit .273 with 15 home runs and 74 RBI, which was up from his lower power numbers in 2013.  Ramirez is in the final year of the four-year $32.5 million deal he signed back in February of 2011.

Melky Cabrera (LF) – Signed a three-year $42 million free agent contract with the White Sox in December.  Cabrera is heading to his sixth team in his 11th big league season, with the last two being with the Toronto Blue Jays.  Melky had a bounce-back year after playing only 88 games in 2013.  He has some power but is very good at getting on base.  Last season he had a .301/.351/.458/.808 line which will be a nice fit in the lineup that is expected to improve.

Adam Eaton (CF) – Acquired in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013.  One of the things that is very important for any team is a good lead-0ff hitter.  The White Sox found theirs in Eaton.  He was brought over in a large three-team trade and did what he was supposed to do.  He hit .300 and had an on base percentage of .362, and also swiped 15 bases while hitting a league-leading 10 triples.

Avisail Garcia (RF) – Acquired in a trade with the Detroit Tigers in 2013.  For now it appears that Garcia may be the starting right fielder but of course that can all change.  He appeared in 46 games last season all in right, hitting .244, but did have seven home runs.  The White Sox do have other options for this position but look for the 23-year old to get a shot.

Adam LaRoche (DH) – Signed a two-year $25 million free agent contract with the White Sox in November.  Chicago added some protection in their lineup for Abreu by signing LaRoche.  He will play some games at first base but a majority of his time will be in the designated hitter role.  LaRoche has a tendency to start the season out slow but turn it on and hit all of the marks when the season is over.  He can be counted on for 20-25 home runs and 90-95 RBI normally, so those numbers could change if his main job is just to hit.

Projected Bench

Geovany Soto (C) – Signed a free agent deal with the White Sox in January.  Soto, who is a former Rookie of the Year, was brought into Chicago mainly as a backup catcher to Flowers, but could actually battle for the starting job.  Either way it is a win-win for the White Sox.  Soto spent 2014 with the Oakland A’s and is a former All-Star.  He boasts a career .992 fielding percentage as a catcher.

Emilio Bonifacio (IF/OF) – Signed a one-year $4 million free agent contract with Chicago with an option for 2016.  Bonifacio can play anywhere in the field and will be great for days off and to bring in for defense.  The 29-year old is entering his ninth year in the major leauges and his eighth different team.  He is a career .262 hitter that has also hit for power in the past.

J.B. Shuck (OF) – Selected off waivers from the Cleveland Indians in 2014.  I put Shuck in this role going for experience, but there is a good chance Tyler Saladino could take this place at some point in 2015.  Shuck has over 200 games experience and could be a left-handed option off the bench.

Dayan Viciedo (OF) – Signed as an amateur free agent by the White Sox in 2008.  Vicideo split time in each of the corner outfield spots last season with a majority coming in right field.  He is listed on the bench before the season starts but could battle his way into the everyday lineup.  He is a 20-home run guy but needs to work on getting on base more.  He and the White Sox avoided arbitration agreeing to a one-year $4.4 million contract.

John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.

You can also reach out to John at jginder@legendsondeck.com