White Sox

Robin Ventura: White Sox have potential to be 'dangerous'


Robin Ventura: White Sox have potential to be 'dangerous'

He doesn’t expect many calls for the White Sox to win the American League Central this season.

But Robin Ventura does anticipate his club will be significantly improved this season. On the eve of SoxFest, the White Sox manager said Thursday he isn’t sure whether or not general manager Rick Hahn intends to add any more pieces to the 2016 roster. But Ventura also made it clear that he already likes the group expected to be present when camp opens three weeks from now.

“I like our starting staff and if we can score some runs and catch the ball we’re going to be dangerous,” Ventura said during an event at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “We’re going to be the underdogs. When you play in the division that has the world champions, you become the underdogs. But I think that’s something we’re used to and we’re going to be able to see a team, with the guys that we’ve brought in, that should score some runs.”

The White Sox offense didn’t produce many runs in 2015 despite an infusion of talent. The performances of too many hitters didn’t meet expectations.

The White Sox finished last in the AL in most major categories. They scored three runs or fewer 82 times, tied for the second-most by the franchise since the mound was lowered. The White Sox went 22-60 in those games.

But Hahn spent much of December attempting to address those issues, which has resulted in an overhaul of one third of the lineup. Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie were acquired in December trades and are expected to man positions in which the White Sox finished 30th among 30 teams in OPS. And projections call for a combined three Wins Above Replacement from catchers Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro.

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The White Sox also hope to improve upon a defense that was at — or near — the bottom of the majors in most defensive statistics.

Already, two prominent sabermetric analysts have said the White Sox have done enough to compete for the AL Central title — if they stay healthy and perform.

The White Sox are projected to win 84-85 games, according to ZiPS, which puts them on par with World Series champion Kansas City and Detroit.

So even if Hahn can’t add any more pieces before pitchers and catchers report to Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 19, Ventura thinks he has enough to work with in his fifth season.

“It’s something to be excited about,” Ventura said. “You never really know what you’re going to get when you go there. But for me, we’re excited to be going. I like the moves Rick has pulled off.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo


White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.