After seeing the Sox match up against the Tigers and manager Brad Ausmus, who looks like he could throw on the catcher's gear and play tomorrow, which current Sox player do you think is likely to make the jump from player to manager? Does Paul Konerko have a chance to land with a team as a manager in the next few years after his retirement from playing? – Jake P., Madison, Wis.
At this point, because the White Sox have so many young players on their team, it’s hard to pick any current player who seems more likely to manage one day than Paul Konerko. With his experience and the respect he commands in the clubhouse, it would seem like a possibility for his future. But I imagine he’ll take a good chunk of time off to spend with his family before considering such a move.
Though I see the starting pitching starting to turn in some good performances, what do you think the rotation will look like next year when it is hoped the Sox will contend? Also, though I was pleased with the Dodgers series, to contend the Sox should not be losing to the likes of the Diamondbacks, Padres and Astros. This happened last year with the Astros too. Is the manager not taking these seemingly easy series too lightly? -- Lou M., Wyomissing Hills, Pa.
It seems probable that the Sox will have at least two of their three left-handers next season, if not all. With Chris Sale and Jose Quintana locked into long-term contracts, they don’t appear to be going anywhere. John Danks is under contract for $14.25 million in both 2015 and 2016, so unless the Sox find a trade they like for him, he’ll be in Chicago too. It’s too early to tell who will fill the last two rotation spots. I could see the Sox trying to fill at least one with an acquisition from the outside. If right-hander Erik Johnson can recover from what has been a troubling spring, he could have a shot. The Sox still have to get left-handed draft pick Carlos Rodon signed and into their minor league system, but there’s a possibility that he could find a spot in the rotation in 2016.
As for your other point, I don’t think the problem is that Robin Ventura is taking the series against struggling teams too lightly. He and the players will tell you they try to approach every series the same, a necessity given the number of games they play. But I suppose there is the possibility of the players being more amped up for a series like the one last week against the Tigers than the one against the Astros.
As of last week, the Tigers had lost 15 out of 21 games, and all the teams in the Central Division were bottled up 2 1/2 games back, with all teams having a chance to take the division. What are the White Sox going to do to make their team more competitive to take advantage of the possibility of taking over first place in the Central? They could start with getting rid of Alejandro De Aza and Moises Sierra in the outfield and bringing up Jordan Danks and Marcus Semien, as they will hit about the same and play better defense and run the bases better. What moves do you see the Sox making and will the changes be internal or will they look outside of the organization and find a trading partner? – Thomas A., Hoffman Estates
I think the Sox are going to have to get through the next couple of weeks better than they did the last two before we can start talking about the moves they will make to contend this season. If they are in the position to win in another month, general manager Rick Hahn has said that they will make moves that will benefit the long-term as well as the short-term, meaning they won’t sacrifice any young key pieces of their future plan for an immediate fix. That being said, it seems that the Sox might want to look for starting and relief pitching and possibly outfield help from the outside sometime down the road.
If the Sox season begins to head south, there’s also the possibility that the Sox could move one or two of their more veteran pieces, in the manner they did last season around the trade deadline.