3. Pitching – starting rotation and bullpen together
The White Sox are set to be without ace Lance Lynn and new reliever Joe Kelly for the foreseeable future and without relief ace Garrett Crochet for a long, long time. Lynn went down with an injury at the beginning of this month and is expected to miss around another month, a much less-severe blow than the two arms that will be missing in their bullpen.
While the White Sox still have Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech on their staff, they also have Dallas Keuchel and Vince Velasquez filling out their rotation. Both of the latter two have struggled so far this season and it’s at least somewhat possible that neither finish the season on the team.
Keuchel, 34, is a free agent at the season’s end as he finishes the three-year contract he signed in the 2019-2020 offseason. The contract has not been a complete failure but certainly hasn’t been a win for the Sox.
Velasquez, 29, signed a one-year contract earlier in the offseason and may not be long for the club if he continues on the stretch he’s currently on. In his first 12 innings of 2022, Velasquez has a 6.75 ERA and seven walks against just 13 strikeouts. He has also allowed three home runs already and could find himself being released by the Sox if this continues.
Joe Kelly, one of the biggest signings by the White Sox this offseason, is battling a nerve injury that caused him to miss the beginning of the season. He has recently begun facing live hitters on a rehab assignment in Arizona per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-times.
Garrett Crochet, still just 22-years old, is going to miss the entirety of this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The flame-throwing southpaw was expected to be a key cog in the White Sox pitching staff but will not make any appearances for the team until early 2023.
While they are rare, an inter-division with the Kansas City Royals may make sense for the White Sox. The Royals are rife with quality pitching and may look to move some of their arms in the right deal with their division rival White Sox.