One of the position groups with sneaky potential this season is the rotation of the White Sox. Not only is the unit anchored by a pair of stalwart lefties in Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, but the mid- to back-end of the rotation is filled with potential high-ceiling options — even if they do have some question marks.
As a team the White Sox ranked firmly in the middle of the pack in starter ERA last year at 4.12. That mark was seventh among 15 AL teams, though the six ahead of the Sox were in a different class, one could argue. The next ERA up the list was the Angels at 3.98, while the Twins and Mariners each trailed the Sox by five points or less. Essentially, in terms of raw production they were far closer to the bottom one-third than the top.
But in terms of secondary stats, the White Sox were pretty dang good. They ranked fourth in FIP (3.82), fifth in xFIP (3.87) and threw more innings than any other team. As a result, they accrued an AL-best total of 17.4 WAR — more than a full win better than runner up Houston (16.0). The Pale Hose rotation was among the best at striking opposing hitters out (8.3 K/9, third), didn’t walk anyone and for the most part kept the ball in the ballpark.
Most of the key cogs from a season ago are back, with one notable omission: Jeff Samardzija, who jumped ship for the NL with the Giants. Replacing Samardzija’s nearly 5.00 ERA could seem easy on the surface, but he threw a team-high 214 innings. That’s less easy to replace.
As of this writing, the depth chart would seem to look like this in the rotation: