MLB 2014 Predictions: AL Central – Who Can Catch The Detroit Tigers

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Chicago White Sox starting pitcher

Chris Sale

(49) Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

5. Chicago White Sox

The White Sox appear to be in full rebuild mode, with true ace Chris Sale the one star the franchise has right now. It is going to be very difficult for Chicago to challenge for anything higher than 4th place in this division.

HITTING – There is not much in the way of star power in this line up. The aging Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn will hold the DH duties, with the former getting some playing time at first, but these two are well past their prime.

Alex Ramirez is a steady veteran at shortstop but both Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger are going to start the season on the DL. Conor Gillaspie, Tyler Flowers, Dayan Viciedo,and Alejandro De Aza are decent pieces, but they are not going to excite many people.

There are three younger players that should have Sox fans watching. Jose Abreu at first, Adam Eaton in center field, and Avisail Garcia in right field can all give fans some hope if they can develop positively in 2014.

PITCHING: Behind Sale, there are a lot of question marks for Chicago. Jose Quintana, John Danks, Erik Johnson, and Felipe Paulino round out the rotation. As a youngster, many will focus on Johnson, but Paulino puts up some very god numbers for the Kansas City Royals before missing most of the last two seasons with injuries. If he can reclaim most of his skills, he could be a big surprise at the back end of this rotation.

The bullpen is going to be very unproven. Nate Jones has been handed the closer’s job, and he has veterans Matt Lindstrom and Scott Downs to provide stability. Chicago was confident enough in Jones’ skills that they were willing to trade Addison Reed. How Jones performs when he gets save opportunities may determine if the White Sox finish 4th or 5th.