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2023 MLB Season Preview: Chicago White Sox

A weak AL Central is wide open, but the White Sox don’t look particularly imposing on paper

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Heading into the 2022 season, the Chicago White Sox were expected to be a solid contender and the likely winner of the AL Central. Dylan Cease finished second in AL Cy Young voting. Jose Abreu put up nearly 4 fWAR in his best season since 2017. And yet, Chicago finished the season with an even 81-81 record, 11 games behind the Guardians, and five games out of the AL’s final Wild Card spot. Injuries were one of the big storylines for the team as Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert all appeared in fewer than 100 games. Another downfall was their inability to shore up roster deficiencies with anything resembling production: second base and right fielder were so awful that they possibly knocked the Pale Hose out of a playoff spot by themselves.

Expectations for 2023

Expectations for the White Sox are definitely way down from where they were heading into the 2022 season. As things currently stand, the projections don’t even think the White Sox can match last year’s .500 record, with forecasts in the 74- to 79-win range.

It is possible the team takes a step forward this season if the likes of Anderson, Grandal, Robert and Jimenez are able to stay healthy over the course of the season. However, losing Abreu in free agency and Liam Hendriks being out indefinitely due to a cancer diagnosis might be too much for this team to overcome no matter what.

The division remains so weak that the White Sox have a decent chance of winning it even as currently constructed, but little has been done to make 2023 less of a slog than the 2022 season they endured on the South Side.

Projected Roster

Via Roster Resource:


  1. Tim Anderson SS
  2. Andrew Benintendi LF
  3. Luis Robert Jr. CF
  4. Eloy Jimenez DH
  5. Yoan Moncada 3B
  6. Andrew Vaughn 1B
  7. Yasmani Grandal C
  8. Gavin Sheets RF
  9. Elvis Andrus 2B

Projected bench

Seby Zavala C
Jake Burger 3B/1B
Leury Garcia UTL
Victor Reyes OF

Projected rotation

  1. Dylan Cease RHP
  2. Lance Lynn RHP
  3. Lucas Giolito RHP
  4. Michael Kopech RHP
  5. Mike Clevinger RHP

Projected bullpen

Kendall Graveman RHP
Aaron Bummer LHP
Joe Kelly RHP
Reynaldo Lopez RHP
Jake Diekman LHP
Jose Ruiz RHP
Nick Avila RHP
Jimmy Lambert RHP

Biggest strength

The White Sox are relatively well-rounded in general, and the combination of Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez gives them a pretty strong one-two lineup punch, supplemented by likely-productive bats like Andrews Vaughn (penciled in at first) and Benintendi and all-around value from Yasmani Grandal. The bullpen isn’t a weak spot either, even with Hendriks out indefinitely.

Biggest weakness

The biggest weakness here can be thought to be organizational — perhaps stubbornness, perhaps obliviousness. Second base and right field killed the team’s chances of sliding into a playoff spot in 2022, and those two positions have mostly been ignored in the off-season. Elvis Andrus was ostensibly brought in late in the offseason to patch up the keystone, but he’s 34, hasn’t been a quality producer since 2017, and will have to recapture the magic of his first 191 PAs in a White Sox uniform to fix anything. In right field, the White Sox appear to be banking on salvation from Oscar Colas and Gavin Sheets, though Sheets was underwhelming last year and neither projects to do much. At least you can dream on Colas’ minor league stats, though he’s a (young) veteran of both Cuba’s Serie Nacional and NPB, and not your typical minor league riser.

The bullpen took a blow with Hendriks out indefinitely, but Aaron Bummer has one of the best relief projections in the game, for whatever that’s worth, and there are enough mid-leverage arms that should be decent that it’s not as big of a concern as the potential for consecutive years of black hole-type non-production at second and in right.

Reinforcements from the farm

Due to recent graduates and trades, there is not a whole lot of MLB-ready talent in the Chicago White Sox system. Lenyn Sosa and Jose Rodriguez could make Major League appearances this season, especially if Andrus turns out not to be the solution at second, but neither is a can’t-miss prospect and both have their quirks. There’s not much else other than depth the White Sox can probably rely on for 2023.

Braves and White Sox matchup history

The Braves and White Sox haven’t tangled since 2019, when the Braves swept them in Atlanta. They haven’t lost a series to them since 2013, though that really just means they’ve won the last two series against them.

The Braves will play host to the White Sox again in 2023 in a weekend set July 14-16, which takes place immediately after the All-Star Break (and then has another day off, in the middle of a homestand, immediately after).

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