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Lake Shore Drive

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Yeah yeah, the pitchers and catchers don't even officially report until this Wednesday, let alone the rest of the team, so why bother. But screw it, I say it's fun time to start thinking who is likeliest to make the squad, at least initially out of Spring Training.

So here's my not-really-too-early 26 man roster projection, with some caveats, including the opening day lineup (assuming we face an opposing RH pitcher):

Starting lineup:
SS - Tim Anderson (R)
3b - Yoan Moncada (S)
1b - Jose Abreu (R)
C - Yasmani Grandal (S)
LF - Eloy Jimenez (R)
DH - Zack Collins (L)
CF - Luis Robert (R)
RF - Adam Eaton (L)
2b - Nick Madrigal (R)


Bench:
IF/OF - Leury Garcia (S)
IF - Danny Mendick (R)
C - Jonathan Lucroy (R)
DH/C/OF - Yermin Mercedes* (R)


Rotation:
S1 - Lucas Giolito (R)
S2 - Lance Lynn (R)
S3 - Dallas Keuchel (L)
S4 - Dylan Cease (R)
S5 - Carlos Rodon (L)


Bullpen:
CL - Lance Hendriks (R)
SU1 - Aaron Bummer (L)
SU2 - Even Marshall (R)
SU3 - Matt Foster (R)
SU4 - Jace Fry (L)
SU5 - Codi Heuer (R)
LR1 - Garrett Crochet (L)
LR2 - Reynaldo Lopez (R)


Notable missing names:
DH/1B - Andrew Vaughn (R)
SP/R - Michael Kopech (R)
RP - Jimmy Cordero* (R)


Since the Sox apparently decided to not sign a proven hitter to take the DH spot, it's assumed the job will go to Vaughn, but as Mingo adroitly pointed out in another post, the Sox are probably going to suck an extra year of service out of him by not bringing him up to the majors until that has been fulfilled, likely sometime in April. Kopech seems like a safe bet to start the season in Charlotte and begin to build up some starter innings and hopefully for a relatively soon callup. Cordero has the same asterisk next to his name as does Mercedes. The roster above represents a 13-13 split between position players & pitchers and if that's the case, I see Cordero as being the odd man out. However, if the Sox decide to go north with 14 pitchers, which wouldn't be all that surprising, then swap these two names. In any event, someone's gonna bite the bullet once Vaughn and later on Kopech arrive.

Flame away gents.
 

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Lake Shore Drive

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Things that make you go hmmmm:


The Sox letting out that they plan on Kopech being a starter in '21 is in and of itself no biggie - in fact it's rather Capt Obvious. But to OPEN the season as one of the starters? Hmmmm.
 

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Things that make you go hmmmm:


The Sox letting out that they plan on Kopech being a starter in '21 is in and of itself no biggie - in fact it's rather Capt Obvious. But to OPEN the season as one of the starters? Hmmmm.

This is the "Let's put this out there to create hype because we didn't sign another bona fide starter" article. Thanks Reindsorf.
 

Lake Shore Drive

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This is the "Let's put this out there to create hype because we didn't sign another bona fide starter" article. Thanks Reindsorf.
Let's just say I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Lake Shore Drive

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Oh uh er um......correction from Jon Morosi on Kopech opening as a starter this season:

"Correction: I was told not to assume that Kopech *begins* 2021 in the #MLB rotation, as the Sox won't rush him, but the team has been pleased with his progress through the offseason. Those familiar with his work in recent months believe he can be an impact starter this year."

Der.
 

Lake Shore Drive

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Sooooooo, already one of my predicted players to make the 26 man roster will not be available for opening day:


Not the most terrible of news by any stretch, altho the Sox would stand a bit shy in the L/H relief department. This might give lefty Bernardo Flores a slight opening to help fill that southpaw need. At least it's good news on the Madrigal front.
 

Mingo

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Yeah yeah, the pitchers and catchers don't even officially report until this Wednesday, let alone the rest of the team, so why bother. But screw it, I say it's fun time to start thinking who is likeliest to make the squad, at least initially out of Spring Training.

So here's my not-really-too-early 26 man roster projection, with some caveats, including the opening day lineup (assuming we face an opposing RH pitcher):

Starting lineup:
SS - Tim Anderson (R)
3b - Yoan Moncada (S)
1b - Jose Abreu (R)
C - Yasmani Grandal (S)
LF - Eloy Jimenez (R)
DH - Zack Collins (L)
CF - Luis Robert (R)
RF - Adam Eaton (L)
2b - Nick Madrigal (R)


Bench:
IF/OF - Leury Garcia (S)
IF - Danny Mendick (R)
C - Jonathan Lucroy (R)
DH/C/OF - Yermin Mercedes* (R)


Rotation:
S1 - Lucas Giolito (R)
S2 - Lance Lynn (R)
S3 - Dallas Keuchel (L)
S4 - Dylan Cease (R)
S5 - Carlos Rodon (L)


Bullpen:
CL - Lance Hendriks (R)
SU1 - Aaron Bummer (L)
SU2 - Even Marshall (R)
SU3 - Matt Foster (R)
SU4 - Jace Fry (L)
SU5 - Codi Heuer (R)
LR1 - Garrett Crochet (L)
LR2 - Reynaldo Lopez (R)


Notable missing names:
DH/1B - Andrew Vaughn (R)
SP/R - Michael Kopech (R)
RP - Jimmy Cordero* (R)


Since the Sox apparently decided to not sign a proven hitter to take the DH spot, it's assumed the job will go to Vaughn, but as Mingo adroitly pointed out in another post, the Sox are probably going to suck an extra year of service out of him by not bringing him up to the majors until that has been fulfilled, likely sometime in April. Kopech seems like a safe bet to start the season in Charlotte and begin to build up some starter innings and hopefully for a relatively soon callup. Cordero has the same asterisk next to his name as does Mercedes. The roster above represents a 13-13 split between position players & pitchers and if that's the case, I see Cordero as being the odd man out. However, if the Sox decide to go north with 14 pitchers, which wouldn't be all that surprising, then swap these two names. In any event, someone's gonna bite the bullet once Vaughn and later on Kopech arrive.

Flame away gents.
I would say there is a rather hot competition between Tim Beckham and Danny Mendick for utility infielder. Beckham brings an better ability to be the backup SS and a better pinch runner (made more important with the extra innings rule which starts with a runner on 2nd base). Beckham is unquestionably faster than Mendick. Leury Garcia can back up at SS, but Beckham would be the better fielder with better range. Mendick played 2nd and 3rd pretty well last year and didn't prove to be a drag on the lineup at the plate. This competition will come down - I think - to how well Beckham plays the back up 3rd base position. Tim Beckham was once the overall #1 pick of the draft - so he is an athlete. Maybe they both make the expanded roster.

Between Kopech, Crochet and Rodon - it occurs to me the White Sox might want to keep Kopech on the Major league roster and pair him as a starter with Crochet or Rodon to put a lid on Kopech's inning's while stretching out Crochet in the long relief role - in preparation for him to be the starter. Rodon would also be able to serve in this role. Under that scenario Kopech would start and pitch 3 innings or 4 innings and Crochet would come in and get the Sox to the 7th inning for the bullpen to finish off the game. Doing this would manage Kopech and Crochet's expectations without sending either down to the minors to deal with that disappointment. Maybe Rodon gets paired with Cease in that manor as well.

Lopez has an option year - and the Sox might just want to use that to stash him at AAA to revive his career.

I'm not sure what to do with Mercedes. I don't think you want to leave his bat on the bench. He may split early DH with Collins depending on the righty - lefty starter, but more likely - IMO - he battles Collins for DH and the loser gets a ticket to Charlotte to stay sharp.
 

Jiddy

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I would say there is a rather hot competition between Tim Beckham and Danny Mendick for utility infielder. Beckham brings an better ability to be the backup SS and a better pinch runner (made more important with the extra innings rule which starts with a runner on 2nd base). Beckham is unquestionably faster than Mendick. Leury Garcia can back up at SS, but Beckham would be the better fielder with better range. Mendick played 2nd and 3rd pretty well last year and didn't prove to be a drag on the lineup at the plate. This competition will come down - I think - to how well Beckham plays the back up 3rd base position. Tim Beckham was once the overall #1 pick of the draft - so he is an athlete. Maybe they both make the expanded roster.

Between Kopech, Crochet and Rodon - it occurs to me the White Sox might want to keep Kopech on the Major league roster and pair him as a starter with Crochet or Rodon to put a lid on Kopech's inning's while stretching out Crochet in the long relief role - in preparation for him to be the starter. Rodon would also be able to serve in this role. Under that scenario Kopech would start and pitch 3 innings or 4 innings and Crochet would come in and get the Sox to the 7th inning for the bullpen to finish off the game. Doing this would manage Kopech and Crochet's expectations without sending either down to the minors to deal with that disappointment. Maybe Rodon gets paired with Cease in that manor as well.

Lopez has an option year - and the Sox might just want to use that to stash him at AAA to revive his career.

I'm not sure what to do with Mercedes. I don't think you want to leave his bat on the bench. He may split early DH with Collins depending on the righty - lefty starter, but more likely - IMO - he battles Collins for DH and the loser gets a ticket to Charlotte to stay sharp.

Our love affair with Rodon is going to continue costing us...hopefully not too much. Trust me, I had some faith in him a couple years back. He was one of the few bright spots on our sh*t team...but we're in the big time now and he's playing like sh*t. No reason for us to settle for that when our team salary is so low and so many other-better/safer/whathaveyou-options are(were) available.

Things that make you go hmmm....

Rodon is not Pitching Abreu. Abreu has been epic since day 1. I fully supported riding him on a later age contract. Rodon is not even close to the same situation. What happens on the field DOES matter...not just in the clubhouse. Likeability should only go so far. But what else is new with Jerry?

Best hope is that we get Rodon/Lopez's f*ckups out of the way early, the damage is minimized but is glaring enough that we need to fill for their sh*t play with a move at the deadline. Then they both float away on a boat somewhere into the great MLB beyond.
 

Mingo

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Our love affair with Rodon is going to continue costing us...hopefully not too much. Trust me, I had some faith in him a couple years back. He was one of the few bright spots on our sh*t team...but we're in the big time now and he's playing like sh*t. No reason for us to settle for that when our team salary is so low and so many other-better/safer/whathaveyou-options are(were) available.

Things that make you go hmmm....

Rodon is not Pitching Abreu. Abreu has been epic since day 1. I fully supported riding him on a later age contract. Rodon is not even close to the same situation. What happens on the field DOES matter...not just in the clubhouse. Likeability should only go so far. But what else is new with Jerry?

Best hope is that we get Rodon/Lopez's f*ckups out of the way early, the damage is minimized but is glaring enough that we need to fill for their sh*t play with a move at the deadline. Then they both float away on a boat somewhere into the great MLB beyond.
I understand the feeling, but the Sox have a new pitching coach and you never know when a Giolito type conversion is ready to happen. What no pitching coach can fix, however, is a physically broken pitcher's body and Rodon is a likely prototype for that image.
 

Jiddy

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I understand the feeling, but the Sox have a new pitching coach and you never know when a Giolito type conversion is ready to happen. What no pitching coach can fix, however, is a physically broken pitcher's body and Rodon is a likely prototype for that image.

If Reynaldo Lopez makes a Giolito type conversion, I will buy you his jersey and attend a Tony Robbins seminar with a completely open mind...because then anything is truly possible.
 

Mingo

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If Reynaldo Lopez makes a Giolito type conversion, I will buy you his jersey and attend a Tony Robbins seminar with a completely open mind...because then anything is truly possible.
I'm thinking you are more of a Zig Ziegler type.
 

Lake Shore Drive

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I would say there is a rather hot competition between Tim Beckham and Danny Mendick for utility infielder. Beckham brings an better ability to be the backup SS and a better pinch runner (made more important with the extra innings rule which starts with a runner on 2nd base). Beckham is unquestionably faster than Mendick. Leury Garcia can back up at SS, but Beckham would be the better fielder with better range. Mendick played 2nd and 3rd pretty well last year and didn't prove to be a drag on the lineup at the plate. This competition will come down - I think - to how well Beckham plays the back up 3rd base position. Tim Beckham was once the overall #1 pick of the draft - so he is an athlete. Maybe they both make the expanded roster.

Between Kopech, Crochet and Rodon - it occurs to me the White Sox might want to keep Kopech on the Major league roster and pair him as a starter with Crochet or Rodon to put a lid on Kopech's inning's while stretching out Crochet in the long relief role - in preparation for him to be the starter. Rodon would also be able to serve in this role. Under that scenario Kopech would start and pitch 3 innings or 4 innings and Crochet would come in and get the Sox to the 7th inning for the bullpen to finish off the game. Doing this would manage Kopech and Crochet's expectations without sending either down to the minors to deal with that disappointment. Maybe Rodon gets paired with Cease in that manor as well.

Lopez has an option year - and the Sox might just want to use that to stash him at AAA to revive his career.

I'm not sure what to do with Mercedes. I don't think you want to leave his bat on the bench. He may split early DH with Collins depending on the righty - lefty starter, but more likely - IMO - he battles Collins for DH and the loser gets a ticket to Charlotte to stay sharp.
You bring up some good stuff here (hell, when don't you), suggesting possible options for a number of spots. TBH, I completely forgot about Beckham being in the equation. One thing with him tho, is he even eligible to start the season as an active player? From Bob Nightengale back in late October:

Beckham was also hit with an 80-game suspension last August following a positive test for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol. It's unclear at this point how many games (if any) he still needs to serve.

So that might end the discussion as to whether or not he could win out a spot on the bench over Mendick. Maybe there's been an update clearing him to play, assuming he makes the cut to begin with. I can't see why the Sox would have signed him if he wouldn't be eligible until halfway into the season. As for your suggestion that Kopech might stick with the team when it breaks camp, this article kinda supports that take in a roundabout way:


I still interpret this as Kopech beginning the season in AAA, but only for a very short stint. Still, if the Sox want to keep him active in the pen until he's ready to hit the rotation, I can see that as well.
 

Mingo

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@Lake Shore Drive Beckham can't have much of an 80 game suspension left - since he missed all 60 games last year and left on suspension in 2019 in August sometime - I'm sure the Mariners had a 20 game September in 2019- that adds up to 80 games in my book.
 

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Zack Collins is not going to be our DH. Come on...
 

Lake Shore Drive

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@Lake Shore Drive Beckham can't have much of an 80 game suspension left - since he missed all 60 games last year and left on suspension in 2019 in August sometime - I'm sure the Mariners had a 20 game September in 2019- that adds up to 80 games in my book.
Thanks for that update. The way the article read, I thought the suspension began this past season. Obviously not, so yeah, he'd fully in the mix for a backup spot.
 

Lake Shore Drive

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Zack Collins is not going to be our DH. Come on...
Well look who decided to show up!

Not sure who else would begin opening day as our DH, assuming of course that Vaughn starts the season in AAA. Maybe Garcia? It's not like we have a plethora of big bats riding pine. So go ahead and pick one.
 

Jiddy

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Well look who decided to show up!

Not sure who else would begin opening day as our DH, assuming of course that Vaughn starts the season in AAA. Maybe Garcia? It's not like we have a plethora of big bats riding pine. So go ahead and pick one.

It's gonna be the Cespedes guy and Vaughn.

We think we've got all the holes filled with those 2 in the field/at dh and Kopech/Cease at the backend. (The puff pieces on Kopech/Cease are reaching ridiculous level at this point)

We'll see. If/when one or more don't pan out, we'll be making a move at the deadline.
 

Lake Shore Drive

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It's gonna be the Cespedes guy and Vaughn.

We think we've got all the holes filled with those 2 in the field/at dh and Kopech/Cease at the backend. (The puff pieces on Kopech/Cease are reaching ridiculous level at this point)

We'll see. If/when one or more don't pan out, we'll be making a move at the deadline.
Interesting take on going with Cespedes, he never even entered my mind. Vaughn of course is automatic if he goes north with the ballclub. The guess here is who we'd go with if he doesn't.

I half agree with you on the fawning over Kopech and Cease. The half that agrees does acknowledge that they've been the recipients of a ton of rah-rah reporting. But the half that disagrees reminds us that this is after all just the ultra beginning of the '21 season, and as we all know hope springs eternal. <---:lame:
 
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