If I had my choice on who would be on the opening day roster for the 2012 Chicago White Sox, it would be pretty easy. While watching a few innings whenever they have had a live feed on the internet, this is more of who I think can make the best team for this upcoming season. But manager Robin Ventura will have the final decision come the end of Spring Training.
The rotation is set and has been set since Mark Buehrle decided he would be taking his talents to South Beach for the Miami Marlins. The opening day starter will be John Danks. This will be his first time starting on opening day in his career. With Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Phil Humber all returning to the rotation again this season, it only left one spot open. Everyone new that Chris Sale was ready to make the jump to the rotation from the bullpen. This has the chance to be a very good rotation.
The bullpen was where most of the questions lied. It was obvious that veterans Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Will Ohman would be around, but the question was if the White Sox would allow top prospect Addison Reed would be allowed to start the season with the big league club. Well, Reed made up their minds for them with a dominating Spring Training so far. My last three spots would go to Zach Stewart, Brian Bruney and Hector Santiago. The Sox may decide to keep Axelrod instead of Bruney. The White Sox do have quite a few options that could help this season in the bullpen.
The infield starters will remain the same from last season. At catcher is AJ Pierzynski, with Tyler Flowers backing him up. Paul Konerko, who is only 4 HR away from 400, will be manning first base. Adam Dunn will be the back up and DH. Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez will make up the double play duo for the third straight year. Eduardo Escobar will be the utility infielder. Brent Morel will be going into his second year at third base. Brent Lillibridge will play everywhere on the diamond.
The outfield has a lot of new faces for 2012. Dayan Viciedo will make his long awaited Opening Day start in left field this season. Alejandro De Aza will be the new leadoff hitter and play center field. Alex Rios will be moving back to right field and hopefully have a bounce back season. Newcomer Kosuke Fukudome will be a backup for all three spots.