After finishing in last place in the AL Central with a disappointing 63-99 record, the organization is going through a quasi-rebuild while trying to keep a core in place, and perhaps none of the players currently on the roster are more important to their future success than their ace pitcher Chris Sale.
Sale’s 2013 season flew highly unnoticed due the club’s struggles and his losing record of 11-14, but he pitched to a 3.07 ERA and dazzled hitters with a 9.5 K/9. His WHIP improved in 2013 to 1.07 from 2012 (1.13), and he was able to pitch a healthy 214 innings.
Sale features a two-seam fastball that rarely exceeds 92 MPH, but keeps hitters on their toes with the movement and location of the pitch. The key to his success is changing speeds, and his changeup looks to continue fooling batters for years to come. Chicago made the intelligent move prior to the 2013 season to secure the 24-year-old pitcher to a contract which keeps him with the club through the 2017 season.
It is hard to see the White Sox mustering a playoff run of any sort in 2014, but with Sale having already made some noise in the majors and Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu looking to make an impression in his first MLB season, look for Chicago to increase their win total and finish near the middle of the pack.