CHICAGO (CBS) — Glendale, Arizona will see the Chicago White Sox take their first swings as the team starts spring training.
The team’s pitchers and catchers are set to report to camp and hold their first workout in Arizona on Wednesday.
CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reports on some things to look for as the team gets ready to take on a new season:
Handling The Hype
Number one, how will this team handle the hype? Obviously that won’t be a huge deal in spring training other than maybe a little extra attention from the media.
But after an aggressive off-season by the front office, the expectation is that the White Sox can win now. And that will be something the players and manager Rick Renteria will have to deal with. This is a new situation for him as well.
Young Stars Taking Next Step
Turning to number two, with the emphasis on winning now, how soon will some of these young hopefully future stars be big time contributors?
Luis Robert looks like a lock to make the opening day roster, but he can certainly show this spring he’s ready, possibly even to be a top of the order guy? Twenty-two-year old Nick Madrigal will be trying to show he belongs on the opening day roster perhaps as the everyday starting second baseman.
For number three and speaking of young guys, after a long time off because of Tommy John surgery, Michael Kopech gets a chance to show what he’s got. The Sox will likely take it slow with him. We’ll see if he can show enough in camp to show he’s ready for opening day.
And finally number four: How will the rotation shake out? You would have to think Lucas Giolito will be the opening day starter, but could Dallas Keuchel be in that mix as well?
After that, the roles could be decided here. Reynaldo Lopez, Dylan Cease, and Gio Gonzalez should fill it out in some order, assuming Kopech can’t work his way into the mix right away.