Chicago White Sox fans will finally get to meet the 2021 edition of their favorite team, en masse, Friday, when Guaranteed Rate Field moves to full capacity for the first time since 2019.
So allow the White Sox to reintroduce themselves.
Of course, folks have been watching this first-place team for nearly three months now, and despite an avalanche of significant injuries, this group is a true World Series contender.
Why? Well, the No. 1 reason is the starting rotation, which has undoubtedly carried the load. White Sox starting pitchers, even after an ugly weekend in Houston, own a 3.16 ERA that's the best mark in the American League and the fourth best in baseball.
Thing is, the quintet of Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodón has been so good, the White Sox might have a brewing problem on their hands: trying to figure out who starts Game 1 of a playoff series.
"It would be really tough," White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz told NBC Sports Chicago last weekend. "Everybody is worthy. The starting staff has been very good. They've shown they're some of the best in baseball. I just hope that at the end of the season, we are in that situation and we do have a tough choice to make because that means they're healthy and they've been consistent for a long time."
Katz is in his first year on the job, and his impact has been immediate. A longtime friend and coach of Giolito, he helped turn the ace's career around a couple years ago. Now he's attempting to work similar magic on Rodón and Cease, with positive results through two and a half months of regular-season action.
So who better to talk about just how great this starting staff has been, and what it's been like to work with them, than Katz?
"They all take a lot of pride. Everybody wants to compete against one another, a friendly competition," he said. "If Carlos does well, Lance is going to want to do well. If Lance does well, then Lucas is going to want to do well. Everyone wants to step up and drive this and help this team go."