2008 Chicago White Sox Playoff Outlook
After winning the World Series just a few years ago, the Chicago White Sox struggled to defend their title. In doing so, they realized that the roster would have to undergo a slight overhaul to become a playoff contender once again.
Some relatively small changes have resulted in a more competitive team that is yet again competing for the American League Central division title. They are currently in a very tight divisional race with the Minnesota Twins and are also right behind the Boston Red Sox in the wild card race.
The White Sox have really become explosive offensively despite the absence of a true leadoff hitter. Their offensive philosophy is to try to get a couple of players on base and then wait for the three-run home run.
Outfielder Jermaine Dye has turned himself into one of the most feared hitters in the American League and is a candidate for the MVP award. Speaking of MVP awards, outfielder Carlos Quentin has become arguably the most feared slugger in the American League and is certainly in the running for the honor.
First baseman Paul Konerko and third baseman Juan Uribe both struggle to hit for even a respectable average, but should top the 30 home run mark. Third baseman Joe Crede has missed significant time yet again because of back problems, but should still finish with 20 home runs.
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez has come up from the minor leagues and given the team more offensive production than they could have ever dreamed of, which has made up for his many shortcomings in the field.
The starting rotation isn't great, but is led by two youngsters who can match up with just about anyone in the American League. John Danks has had a great year after spending last season in the minors, and it appears Gavin Floyd may finally be reaching his potential after struggling in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system for several years.
The bullpen is solid, anchored by closer Bobby Jenks. Jenks missed some time this year with a sore shoulder but appears to be healthy for the stretch run. Octavio Dotel has turned himself into a solid setup man after years as a closer.
One of the major concerns for the team has to be their defense, which leaves a lot to be desired. The White Sox are not above average at any position with the possible exception of right field, where Dye has made some fantastic plays this year.
The White Sox have plenty of playoff experience and one of the best managers in the game in Ozzie Guillen, which gives them a distinct advantage over the Twins for the division title in the final month of the season.