ESPN released their "Way-too-early" starting pitching rankings, slotting the White Sox as the seventh-best rotation in MLB.
"There are mostly slight differences between the pecking order of rotations generated by this method and by the forecast at Fangraphs, with teams generally landing within a handful of ranking spots from one approach to the other The White Sox were one of the bigger departures -- in Chicago's favor," ESPN wrote.
"The projections see bouncebacks for Lynn and Giolito, which has to happen for Chicago to really land here in the rotation hierarchy. The issue though is depth: The White Sox don't have it, and these numbers don't know what's going to happen with the recent investigation concerning newcomer Clevinger."
Certainly, the loss of Johny Cueto – who pitched 158 innings with a 3.35 ERA last season with the White Sox – is a major loss on the mound.
But, Dylan Cease is in Cy Young form, along with, as ESPN alluded to, bounce-back years for Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn. The former's issues were easier to identify than the latter.
Giolito and the White Sox formulated a weight gain, muscle-building program for Giolito last offseason, forcing him into 20 pounds of weight gain. It did not help, plummeting his velocities and sending him into an atrocious season headlined by a 4.90 ERA.
Certainly, Michael Kopech poses to have a better season, not headlined by injuries to his knee, which caused him to take on multiple stints on the IL last season. He recorded 25 starts and held a 3.54 ERA.
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Last season, the White Sox posted a 3.92 ERA as a team (16th in MLB), down from the 3.73 team ERA they posted in 2021, which was good for the fifth-best mark in the league.
Hopefully, clearing up past injuries and taking on new leadership under Pedro Grifol will help the club bounce back from a down year on the mound.