As we enter the last week of Spring Training the White Sox roster is pretty close to the Opening Day roster, but several question remain. The first question is off topic and MLB related, could someone in Bud Selig’s office explain the difference between “Opening Day 2012” and “Opening Series 2012?”
Most of the country was unaware that two regular season games had been played between the Mariners and A’s in Japan on Wednesday and Thursday, but it was not marketed as “Opening Day 2012,” in fact it was not really marketed at all in United States. I only stumbled across it because I was looking up the remained of the Spring Training schedule. “Opening Series 2012” was really bust back in the U.S., but it allows Selig to continue to market his product overseas in hopes of expansion outside of North America. I had to get that off my chest.
Now, let’s talk about another disaster, Dyan Viciedo. Viciedo has had a disastrous Spring and while Spring means nothing, you expect a little more out of someone who’s projected to hit 24 home runs this season. His only home runs came in a minor league game in which he hit three. Yesterday he had a hit off the end of his bat to go 1-3. Viciedo was supposed to be an improvement over Juan Pierre in left this season, but at the moment it seems more like a lateral move. Before you scream better defense, he misplayed a ball yesterday that turned into a double; sound familiar?
It looks like Thornton will attempt to be the White Sox closer again this season, and that is a huge question mark. When handed the duties last year he completely imploded, and then when the duties were officially taken away he as lights out. Does he have the confidence that he lacked last season? Hopefully, we’ll find out on April 6.
Every Sox fan’s favorite player, Alex Rios, came up gimpy yesterday with a strained Achilles heel, not a kind injury and difficult to play through. He wanted to play, but the training staff would not clear him to play. New manager, Robin Ventura, claims there’s nothing to worry about and he’s penciled in the line-up today batting third.
Other questions seemed have been answered thus far in Spring. Chris Sale seems to be adjusting to the starting role splendidly, with only two walks in 24 innings. His last two outings he was dominant, he struck Matt Kemp out three times yesterday.
Adam Dunn has had a nice Spring, which he did not last season, so that’s a positive sign. He’s kept the strike outs to minimum and walked a lot. In for 43 ABs he has 4 HRs, 13 RBIs, and 13 walks with only six strike outs. His
is an impressive .429 and his OPS is .997. He’s at a home run in about every 10 ABs. A solid Spring, we’ll see what the season brings.
Those were the biggest questions facing the White Sox this offseason besides how will the new coaching staff handle the team. So far, I would give the coach staff an “A” in Spring Training. They’ve reinstated the importance of doing the little things in the game that sometimes lead to bigger things happening for your opponent when not done correctly. Something the Ozzie Guillen coached team lacked.
I’m cautiously optimistic going into 2012, but I think this team will definitely be more fun to watch than last years team. If things go well the Sox are looking at 83 – 79, but if everything clicks you have a 90 – 72 team looking at a possible Wild Card birth.