2006 Chicago White Sox Preview

Posted on Sabtu, 23 Januari 2010 |
2005 Overview:

After waiting 88 years for a World Series title, the Chicago White Sox and 2nd year Manager Ozzie Guillen entered the 2005 season on a mission. After an impressive rookie managerial season the Venezuela born Guillen led his troops to a division leading 99-63 record. The White Sox simply dominated the postseason losing only 1 game out of a total of 13 played - first by sweeping the defending champion Boston Red Sox and then by rolling past the Angels 4 games to 1. Chicago went home from the Fall Classic against NL Champion Astros with a clean 4-game sweep grabbing their first World Series title since 1917. The White Sox fielded one of the stronger offensive lineups in 2005 with 1st baseman Paul Konerko (.283 40 100) and outfielder Jermaine Dye (.274 31 86) leading the charge.  Outfielder Carl Everett (.251 23 87), 3rd baseman Joe Crede (.252 22 62) and newly acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski (.257 18 56) also helped level out the rest of the 2005 lineup.

It’s often said that ‘pitching wins championships’ and in 2005 Chicago assembled one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Newly acquired Jose Contreras (15-7 3.61) and Freddy Garcia (14-8 3.87) sparkled in their new White Sox uniforms, while Jon Garland (18-10 3.50) and Mark Buehrle (16-8 3.12) rounded out the dominating starting staff. Newly acquired Reliever Dustin Hermanson (2-4 2.04) performed nicely in the bullpen saving 24 of 29 chances and doubling his output from the previous year with the San Francisco Giants.

Off Season Moves:

The White Sox did very little in the off season to change their team chemistry. Their biggest moves included re-signing first baseman Paul Konerko to a five-year, $60 million deal (he turned down $65 million from the Orioles) and trading for slugger Jim Thome (7 HRS in 59 games in 2005), who is scheduled to start the 2006 campaign as Chicago’s DH. The White Sox also strengthened an already strong rotation with a trade for Javier Vazquez (11-15 4.42) - they also acquired a versatile utility man in Rob Mackowiak (.292 9 58) from the Pirates.

2006 Analysis:

Guillen and company seem to have a solid blueprint for success and it’s hard to find many flaws in their off season strategy. The only real weak point appears to be centerfield since at least for now it looks as if Brian Anderson (.176 in 34 AB in 2005) will take over for Aaron Rowand (.270 13 69) who was traded to Philly in the deal for Thome. Expect Thome (.274 42 105 in a full season in 2004) to blossom as a DH, saving himself from the wear and tear of playing 1st base everyday. He’s a player perfectly suited for the DH role and the White Sox were wise to trade for him.  Thome should provide some nice offense alongside Konerko, Pierzynski, Dye and Crede.  Chicago’s pitching in 2006 should be stronger (if that’s even possible!) with Javier Vazquez joining the rotation.  Vazquez could prove to be another interesting addition to an already powerful staff. Much like the acquisitions of Contreras and Garcia in 2004, the White Sox are hoping Vazquez will fit in nicely and produce better numbers then last season.

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