Last night Dayan Viciedo’s ninth inning three-run blast shocked the Yankees and gave the Sox the momentum they needed to finish the game off. Granted Jeter’s shot to the warning track in right field for the final out was enough to make your heart stop for a moment, it was a solid game by the Sox. And with wins from the Tigers and the Indians we needed to take that one. Tonight rookie lefty Jose Quintana will oppose Adam Warren who is making his MLB debut. Initially the Yankees wanted to ease Warren into the bullpen but with CC Sabathia on the DL and Andy Pettitte going down with a broken fibula (ouch) a couple days ago New York needed to put Warren into the rotation. Two rookie pitchers against two powerhouse offenses should make for a great game.
Oh, I’m back by the way. I realized I never said anything when I left. I was offered a staff writing position at FanSided’s White Sox site last September and that’s where I disappeared to. I’m back for the time being and I’m ready to post.
Yeah, this is what happened.
As of right now there are a couple of guys that I really want to see make the roster. I don’t know how many spots are available right now because I haven’t been paying close enough attention to have a sure opinion on who’s staying with the big club and who’s starting the year in the minors. With all of the starters and a few guys I know will be on the bench, I figure there are 3 or 4 spots open on the roster right now. Here are a few names I want on the roster come April 1st.
We all like a good batch of young, talented players. And I am not one to argue the worth of a prospect. But what if none of the players have ever played together at a big-league level? What if it’s a whole new team of youngsters with absolutely no chemistry?
The Sox are going into the 2009 season with a team full of new ballplayers. Dayan Viciedo, Josh Fields (though he’s played before), Cole Armstrong, Chris Getz and a few other pitchers all have never played — or never played long — at this level. We’ve still maintained a handful of the experienced players, but for the most part we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for an opening day roster.
Spring Training hasn’t started yet, I know, but I can already tell we’re headed for a roller-coaster ride of a season. Sporting News, in their annual preview magazine, see the AL Central as follows:
At first glance I was shocked and appalled at this prediction but now that I have given it time to sink in… I realize the possible truth to their outlook.
Our infield depth has dropped considerably. Orlando Cabrera, Joe Crede and Juan Uribe are all gone. Uribe could play any infield position while O.C. and Crede were limited to only one slot, shortstop and third base, respectively. Alexei Ramirez, our current shortstop, can also play center and can beat the heck out of the second base position. Chris Getz, a promising rookie, is filling the second base role on the current Sox depth chart. In ten games on the South Side squad last year Getz had seven plate appearances with two hits for a .286 average.
Here are two ways the season could turn out based on my above comments.
- We crash and burn as Sporting News predicted.
- We sit in first place for a good portion of the year, then drop off the map
Now give me some time to argue with myself.
Maybe having a bunch of rookies is a good thing! All of these players will be fighting to keep their jobs which, more often than not, results in good statistics. Look at Evan Longoria last year. He was rookie trying to keep the job the Rays had given him at third base and he ends up winning Rookie of the Year. I won’t say that any of our players are in line for winning American League Rookie of the Year as David Price, steering clear of injury, will surely walk away with the award.
Though this has nothing to do with the topic, I am going to throw this into the equation.
Say Carlos Quentin matches or betters his 2008 stats. That will give us roughly 100 RBI and 36 home runs (+/-) from one player alone. Give Thome the same thing and we’re up to 200 RBI and 72 homers. Same for Dye and Konerko and we’re already at 400 runs driven in and 144 round trippers from 4 players alone. All of the above mentioned players are more than capable of producing those kinds of numbers and have in the past.
2008 – Carlos Quentin… you know the story.
2006 – Jermaine Dye drives in 120 runs and hits 44 homers.
2006 – Jim Thome parks 42 jacks with 109 driven in.
2005 – Paul Konerko hits 40 home runs and drives in 100.
There is proof that those players have had Ruthian seasons.
But, like in science, something has to be repeatable to be possible.