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Why the Twins Need to Take the White Sox Seriously


Tom Froemming
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Dallas Keuchel is the latest addition in what's been a busy offseason for the White Sox. Yasmani Grandal was their marquee addition, but they've also added Gio Gonzalez and Nomar Mazara. Is that enough to address their severe lack of depth from 2019?

 

I'm not sure, but this 2020 White Sox roster is starting to feel a bit like the 2019 Twins, a team that made the jump from 78 to 101 wins, though there are some significant differences. Here's some more discussion: 

 

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I'll give Chicago credit for having the balls to make some moves. They have been very aggressive in getting the pieces they feel they need to make a run at the playoffs. Meanwhile,some teams have management that talk a good game, but they are afraid to pull the trigger and take a chance. I would imagine White Sox fans are very pleased with the effort from their front office.

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Again, the pieces you do are great. Appreciate the effort and time. I like the pointing out the large WAR disparity between the teams last year, but then showing the jump the Twins made between '18 and '19. I don't think were going to win 100 games next year. I feel were going to be a stronger team. I know this sounds counter intuitive.

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The White Sox might suck... they might be great and they may fall somewhere in between.

 

The roster they have could be justified for all 3 results.

Yeah, but the amount of legit blue chippers arriving compares to the Astros and Dodgers of recent years, but now supplemented with near top veteran talent. Scarey.

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Agreed. Dismissing them is a mistake even if you end up being right.

Dismissing any team is a mistake. Don't make any assumptions. Play to win as many games as possible during the season, no matter who your opponent is on the field or in the standings.

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One thing is for sure: the White Sox will be better than last year. But last year, they fell into 3rd place and posted a 72/89 record. Since it doesn't look like the Indians will be better, or even as good as, last year, the White Sox are definitely contenders for a higher rank in our division. So far, it's looking like the Twins and White Sox will fall in first and second, and then Indians 3rd, and Tigers and Royals in fourth and fifth. Maybe 2020 will bring a White Sox/Twins division race... let's just see what the rest of the offseason brings!

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Again, the pieces you do are great. Appreciate the effort and time. I like the pointing out the large WAR disparity between the teams last year, but then showing the jump the Twins made between '18 and '19. I don't think were going to win 100 games next year. I feel were going to be a stronger team. I know this sounds counter intuitive.

I definitely could see the Twins being overall a more talented, or simply better-performing team next season but still falling short of 101 wins. There's a bit of good fortune that goes into winning that many games, and I think an overall stronger AL Central and fewer truly terrible teams in general will make it tough for them to reach that mark again in 2020.

 

Obviously we're all expecting some major improvements made via external additions, but there are some reasons to think there's more left in some of the in-house guys too. Some of the younger players can be expected to step forward, there will be some rookie contributors and hopefully we get to see a full season from Byron Buxton (crosses fingers, knocks on wood and throws salt over shoulder).

 

There's also one Twin in particular I expect to have a bounce back 2020 season. I'll hopefully get to that video sometime later this week.

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The Whitesox are still short a 2B and CF that can hit. I think they have a 2B prospect. They have a terrible bench. No one you want starting for long stretches at a time. So while they are a better team, they better not get hurt. I haven't checked their bullpen but I remember it being a Bummer and nothing else.

 

We have Gonzales ready to step in as well as Cave. And Adrianza proved adequate at SS for half a season.

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The Whitesox are still short a 2B and CF that can hit. I think they have a 2B prospect. They have a terrible bench. No one you want starting for long stretches at a time. So while they are a better team, they better not get hurt. I haven't checked their bullpen but I remember it being a Bummer and nothing else.

 

We have Gonzales ready to step in as well as Cave. And Adrianza proved adequate at SS for half a season.

As opposed to the Twins deep rotation.......

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The Whitesox are still short a 2B and CF that can hit. I think they have a 2B prospect. They have a terrible bench. No one you want starting for long stretches at a time. So while they are a better team, they better not get hurt. I haven't checked their bullpen but I remember it being a Bummer and nothing else.

 

We have Gonzales ready to step in as well as Cave. And Adrianza proved adequate at SS for half a season.

Madrigal will play 2b. 4th overall pick in 2018 ahead of his college teammate Trevor Larnach. Peaked at 15 overall prospect worth BP last year. Hit .311 with 35 sb across 3 levels last season (ending in aaa). Had only 16 k's in over 500 ab. (44 bb). A rookie of the year candidate.

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The Whitesox are still short a 2B and CF that can hit. I think they have a 2B prospect. They have a terrible bench. No one you want starting for long stretches at a time. So while they are a better team, they better not get hurt. I haven't checked their bullpen but I remember it being a Bummer and nothing else.

 

We have Gonzales ready to step in as well as Cave. And Adrianza proved adequate at SS for half a season.

Sounds like you’re going to get familiar with their top prospects Nick Madrigal 2B and Luis Robert CF this year.

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Luis Robert also plays CF in AAA who will be a consensus top 20 prospect heading into the season. They’re set.

Loaded.

 

Tigers also have 2 stud starters expected to debut and Fulmer coming back. They can't be any worse. Schoop and Cron are at least actual big leaguers.

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Cleveland is still going to be contender this season just look at there top line pitching they have to start with. Second they have improved there bull pen with trade of Kluber and some free agent signings should improve them offensively. If they trade Lindor they are going to get haul of very talented young players that will make impact right way. Third they have Teto managing this club in my mind that is several wins alone to keep in them in contention. Chicago is improved and getting better everyday. Detroit I willing to bet they improve some this year hard to get much worse. KC is only club I could see take step backwards but they do have some very good ball players so they might be better than we think. Clubs usually fall back from 100 win seasons and the Twins have done nothing to improve this team since last fall if anything we have lost depth and definitely our pitching is needing improvement better hope to not have any pitching injuries or season could be lost before it begins.

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White Sox making moves! They will be good.

But EE scares me less than Castellanos, who they were rumored to get.

Needless to say...we should probably key in on winning now...

Indeed, there is still a bit of a window to win the division with Cleveland looking mortal and the White Sox still hoping their mix of prospects and free agent signings will click. The time is now. Please, let's go out and get one more above average starter for the Twins rotation. Of course winning the division is one thing, and advancing past the first round of the playoffs is the big hurdle for the Twins.

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I'm not all that worried about Chicago quite yet this year, but they most definitely have improved their club. Cleveland I think will always compete, only because their pitching staff is so good. 

 

Chicago's pitching staff has a chance to be legit though. Gioloto is studly, Keuchel and Gonzalez have the veteran presence and the other 2 young cats they have, possess some good stuff, they just need to put it together. In total, the 3 young guys they have look like they have a chance to be a force going forward(if Kopech is healthy). Twins don't even have a prospect available that is as advanced as any of these guys and they are super young. 

 

In short, if not this year, the next few years following Chicago should be very good. It is our team's job to make sure we have the pitching available for the next few years to compete with them and Cleveland's always fantastic arms. 

 

 

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Vanimal makes a GREAT point:  If 2B and CF are considered "weak" positions on the White Sox say hello to Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal.  They are going to be pretty good big leaguers.  If madrigal is already set to debut for the White Sox, Trevor Larnach shouldn't be far behind for the Twins.  Larnach and Kiriloff are ready.  Trade Rosario for some pitching.

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didn't we have the 5th best rotation last season? Swapping out Martin for a rookie should be an incremental improvement. We are still minus Gibson who was a number 4 starter last season. I think we can sign another number 4. I think we are trying to improve the rotation or we would have signed someone already. And on offense we could sign Moreland till one of the rookies are ready if we don't sign Donaldson.

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I agree that Chicago is going to be improving significantly and rapidly. But, here's a contrarian take: if the Twins organization measures themselves against their ability to compete in the AL Central...which is apparently the case...then the sooner the White Sox are a truly elite team, the better. 'Winning' a division so weak that totally dominating it makes you about the 8th or 9th best team in the majors does nothing for me. And being 'stuck' at that level gives you no chance to do anything meaningful in the post-season.

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White Sox aren’t afraid to invest in their young talent even before they put on an MLB uniform. Seems to be working out with the last player they did this with, Tim Anderson.

 

... and Eloy Jimenez.  Granted, the Twins didn't have back-to-back prospects putting up video game numbers at AAA.

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White Sox aren’t afraid to invest in their young talent even before they put on an MLB uniform. Seems to be working out with the last player they did this with, Tim Anderson.

 

Robert..... $76M guaranteed money before he steps foot on a major league field after he got that $26M  bonus.  Bonkers.

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