White Sox camp report: Likes, dislikes
Robin Ventura gives the White Sox a steady hand as manager, but can the top starting pitchers prove to be healthy and consistent?
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- What I like, and don't like, about the White Sox:
Things I like
• While the White Sox were an up and down team (up one year, down the next) in the later years of the Ozzie Guillen regime, that may not be true now, with the very-steady Robin Ventura in charge. Ventura and his coaching staff made a huge positive impact on this group of players last year, and the feeling in White Sox camp this spring seems to be the same.
• If they can all stay healthy, the White Sox have a solid to above-average starting rotation, which should give them a chance almost every night. And Chris Sale and Jake Peavy at the top of the rotation have the chance to be even better than that.
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• The White Sox should benefit from their fine season last year. The young pitchers in the bullpen learned to pitch under pennant-race pressure, and Ventura no doubt learned some things about keeping his team ready to be at its best in September. The White Sox seemed to run out of gas just as the Tigers were coming on.
• Some things have changed with the White Sox, but Paul Konerko is always there. As he should be. Konerko is going into his 15th year with the Sox. Assuming he stays healthy, he'll pass Nellie Fox this year on the franchise's all-time games played list. That would leave him second, behind only Luis Aparicio.
Things I don't like
• I worry about Jake Peavy staying healthy, because so often in recent years he hasn't. I worry about John Danks coming back as strong as he was pre-injury, because shoulders just seem to be so tricky. I worry about Chris Sale and his big innings jump, not because there's any sure sign of trouble, but just because everyone keeps saying young pitchers shouldn't have big innings jumps.
• You know what was most disappointing about the 2012 White Sox? The attendance. How can a team that plays in America's third-biggest city and stays in first place for most of the season fail to even crack 2 million in attendance?
• The Tigers added Torii Hunter and got Victor Martinez back. The Royals added James Shields. The Indians added Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn. The White Sox? They added Jeff Keppinger.