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WhiteSoxFan84
03-06-2011, 02:34 PM
Hello everyone, I've been gone for a while, although I have been checking in with the smartest baseball community but not posting. Can't wait for the season to get going!

On Friday my friends and I were discussing the sport and I started thinking about the 2011 White Sox rotation. Clearly you have an amazing starting rotation when you can justify putting a guy as talented as Edwin Jackson at the end of it. Buehrle, Peavy, Danks, and Floyd makeup the best front 4 in the AL, when healthy.

Then I started thinking about how the lineup is very nicely balanced with speed (Pierre, Ramirez, Rios, Beckham), power (Konerko, Dunn, Quentin), and good overall bats a.k.a. solid BA and/or OBP (Konerko, Rios, Dunn).

The bullpen might be a question mark but the talent is definitely there. The question mark I'm thinking about is the lack of chemistry and definition of roles. Thornton, Sale, Crain, Santos, Pena, Ohman, and co. can get the job assuming roles are defined early and the players perform as well as expected.

Defensively, I'd say the White Sox are promising. If Morel starts at 3rd (if that decision hasn't been announced yet) with Alexei to his left, it'll be very tough for opposing batters to get ground balls out to left and left-center. Pierre in LF and Rios in CF provide a lot of speed and will track down a lot of business that develops near them. Konerko is very solid at 1st, Beckham will continue improving at 2B and is already impressive there. The 2 remaining players/positions are Pierzynski behind the plate and Quentin in RF. If they can put together just adequate defensive seasons and get the job done at the plate, no one should pick on them too much.

Finally, the bench adds solid, (mostly) veteran depth and includes reliable players ready to go if someone gets hurt. Vizquel, Castro, Teahen, and Viciedo (assuming Morel starts) should make you worry less about an occasional, day-to-day injuries.

With all that being said, the most important aspect of this breakdown is the team's overall health. Luckily, the roster is made up of relatively durable players. Peavy is the biggest question mark - and don't get me wrong, him going down alone would hurt the team a lot - but aside from him, everyone else has been fortunate enough to be rather healthy.


I've been a White Sox fan since I started watching baseball in the 90's and this is, to me, the best roster I've seen. So, after this great American novel, I ask you guys to fill in the blank: "The 2011 White Sox are the most talented White Sox team since..."?

KMcMahon817
03-06-2011, 02:59 PM
As far as the White Sox go, this is the most complete team since 2006. I really like the layout of the team as well, and I am pretty confident.

One thing, Viciedo will likely be in AAA getting every day at bats to start the season. Also, they SOX have moved his to the corner outfield, so he'll need to see reps out there everyday as well. The last bench spot will likely go to Milledge, Lillibridge or De Aza. Probably Lillibridge or De Aza to start the season because I believe both are out of options.

Hitmen77
03-06-2011, 02:59 PM
....since 2006. The reigning world champs looked pretty impressive on paper heading into the 2006 season. The only big question mark seemed to be Brian Anderson at CF.

That team was pretty impressive in the first half of '06. They nearly matched the W-L record to date from the previous season, but they fell flat on their face in the 2nd half and ended up finish 3rd.

The lesson for me is to not get too excited about how good Sox teams look good on paper. I'm very optimistic about this year, but we'll have to see if they live up to their potential.

Sox teams in recent years have a tendency to get off to a slow start and to stumble after the All Star break. Let's put a stop to that tradition. Plus they need to learn how to beat Minnesota.

TomBradley72
03-06-2011, 06:32 PM
I'll go along with 2006- I think our overall pitching will be better than that team- but I have concerns about Dunn- career .231 w/RISP, 199 strike outs last year, new league/new position (DH)-I just don't know if he'll have the impact to the magnitude that everyone expects. I hope I'm wrong.

doublem23
03-06-2011, 07:44 PM
1927 Yankees

Madscout
03-06-2011, 07:50 PM
1927 Yankees
???

Daver
03-06-2011, 08:23 PM
The outfield defense is only strong up the middle, and marginal in the corners, speed does not equal range, and throwing is as important as catching.

The infield will be strong everywhere but second providing Teahen is NOT the starting third baseman, Beckham is the wildcard there, he may be solid, he may struggle, I'm hoping Joey Cora can help him there.

Starting pitching will be strong, and I have an odd faith that the bullpen will get the job done, the only worries I have are injury to Peavy, Jackson, Floyd, and Sale, and to a smaller extent Santos.

The Sox have succeeded with poor defensive catching for a long time, provided they get average to better offense from the position, I don't think AJ will fall off a ledge this year, and I would think he will catch around 135 to 140 games.

Unlike last year and the year before, I am optimistic in this teams ability to compete for the division as well as the league.

WhiteSoxFan84
03-06-2011, 11:36 PM
I've seen a few of you refer to the 2006 team, I just don't see it that way. In 2006 the team did well, very well, but, they just weren't going to get it done again unless a lot of players had career years, AGAIN. To add some logic to this argument, below I have put the 2011 roster next to the 2006 roster. You'll notice I only picked the top 4 relievers from both squads. On the right, I've chosen which team has the advantage. I'm taking 2006 numbers vs 2011 potential (assuming the player stays healthy and performs at career average levels):

Pos. ..... 2011 ................... 2006 ........... Advantage
SP ......... Buehrle .............. Buehrle ......... 2011 - he had a 4.99 ERA in '06
SP ......... Peavy ............... Contreras ...... 2011 - Jake should beat Jose's 4.27
SP ......... Danks ................ Vazquez ........ 2011 - Danks should easily beat Javy's 4.84
SP ......... Floyd ................. Garland ......... 2011 - Gavin w/ Sox has been well below 4.51
SP ......... Jackson ............. Garcia ........... Even - an ERA of 4.53 sounds reasonable
RP ......... Sale ................... Cotts ............. 2011 - Cotts' bubble bursted in '06
RP ......... Crain .................. Politte .......... 2011 - See Cotts
RP ......... Santos ................ McCarthy ...... 2011 - Santos should easily beat 4.68
CL ......... Thornton ............. Jenks ............ 2006 - Jenks converted 41/45, career best 91%
C ........... Pierzynski ............ Pierzynski ..... 2006 - Hit .295 in '06, hit below that mark 4 of last 5 yrs
1B ......... Konerko ............... Konerko ........ 2006 - '06 and '10 were extra special for PK
2B ......... Beckham .............. Iguchi ............ 2006 - Iguchi posted a .774 OPS, Beckham beat it by .034 in '09 but fell short by .079 in '10
SS ......... Ramirez ............... Uribe ............ 2011 - better defense, better hitter
3B ......... Morel .................. Crede ........... 2006 - not even close, miss ya, Joe!
LF ......... Pierre .................. Podsednik .... 2011 - .330 OBP + 68% SB success, nothing special
CF ......... Rios .................... Anderson ...... 2011 - not even close
RF ......... Quentin ............... Dye ............... 2006 - CQ can surprise, but Dye's 1.006 OPS is just the beginning of an unreal season
DH ........ Dunn ................... Thome .......... 2006 - like Dye, Thome went bananas (1.014 OPS)


Pitching: 2011 wins, 7-1-1
Hitting: 2011 loses, 3-6-0
Total: 2011 wins, 10-7-1

palehozenychicty
03-07-2011, 01:45 AM
The 2006 team looked unstoppable for a half. Then they had that marathon game against the Carmines, which killed the season. I think if Peavy holds up, this will be one of the game's most complete teams.

Dan H
03-07-2011, 08:32 AM
This is most talented team since 2006. The 2005 season and the first half of the 2006 season was the best White Sox baseball I had ever seen. The problem was that it only lasted a season and a half.

I am more optimistic about this year than most. But there are still big ifs on the team and many things can go wrong. Yet there is so much talent on this team it is hard to think they won't be in the post-season.

pssondacubs
03-07-2011, 11:51 AM
The one area you didn't address was coaching. The distractions that this team has gone through with Ozzie and his son have hurt the chemistry of this team in the past. Beckham even brought it up over the offseason, so I know it has had an effect.

A manager won't always win you a championship, but they can be the reason you lose one.

I hope this team can just relax and play ball without all the crap that's gone on in the past.

Gavin
03-07-2011, 11:54 AM
My major concern is Buehrle completely falling apart and a SP injury. I give this perfect storm a 10% chance of happening.

russ99
03-07-2011, 08:57 PM
I liked the 2006 Sox, especially the pitching, but the offense was much better in 2004 with Frank, Magglio, Lee and Valentin.

Too bad Magglio got hurt, or we would have won the division that year too, especially after the Freddy trade.

As for this year, I think it hinges on how the pen shakes out and if the starters especially Peavy can stay relatively healthy.

tstrike2000
03-07-2011, 09:11 PM
I liked the 2006 Sox, especially the pitching, but the offense was much better in 2004 with Frank, Magglio, Lee and Valentin.

Too bad Magglio got hurt, or we would have won the division that year too, especially after the Freddy trade.

As for this year, I think it hinges on how the pen shakes out and if the starters especially Peavy can stay relatively healthy.

Hawk Harrelson, is that you?

Red Barchetta
03-07-2011, 10:04 PM
I just hope they get off to a strong start. It doesn't have to be like the 2005 start, however I just don't want to be looking up at the Twins/Tigers (again) come June. Just stay close and at least play .500 baseball in April/May. The Twins always seem to hang around and then get stronger as the season goes on and win the division.

...only to be swept and bounced out of the playoffs in the divisional series. :rolleyes:

Foulke You
03-08-2011, 02:05 AM
I liked the 2006 Sox, especially the pitching, but the offense was much better in 2004 with Frank, Magglio, Lee and Valentin.

Too bad Magglio got hurt, or we would have won the division that year too, especially after the Freddy trade.
I happen to agree with you about '04. Maggs AND Frank (torn triceps) both got hurt which torpedoed the 2nd half of the season. The Sox were in control of that division before they went down. A loss of the #3 and 4 hitters in the lineup was a fatal blow. I doubt any team can overcome that. I disagree that the '04 team had a superior offense to the '06 squad though. I'd say it was about even.