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Zen and the Art of Roster Construction

The White Sox opening day roster is all but set

Anderson Wins Spring Competition; Will Open Season as 4th Outfielder

Entering the spring, the Sox were supposedly holding an open competition for the center field job. It quickly became apparent that was not the case as Ozzie Guillen heaped praise on Darin Erstad at every opportunity while giving him more at bats than anyone else in the Cactus League. You could argue that he just wanted to see what Erstad could do, but you'd have to ignore the copious amount of quotes about all the grinderish qualities -- known, but unquantifiable qualities -- that only Darin Erstad brought to the club.

Despite what some around here may say, Anderson says he didn't walk to the plate with enough confidence last year.

"It's not an at-bats thing with me. It's a confidence thing. There are guys out there in baseball with [bad] swings and horrible mechanics, but they are arrogant and cocky and play and produce. It's an attitude thing with me. I lost that swagger last year and I think I got that back now."

Expect the Sox to carry three lefties

If I'm reading into this Ozzie quote correctly -- and I believe that I am -- it sounds like he plans on keeping both of the Logan/Sisco big, erratic lefty tandem as the team heads north.

"We should have made the decision on the last cuts today, but I was not too happy with the way Sisco and Boone threw the ball," Guillen said. "That's what we're going to decide tomorrow. "I didn't want to make a decision because I was mad or whatever. I had [assistant general manager] Rick [Hahn] call [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and tell him that I didn't want to make the last cuts today. I want to talk to everyone tomorrow morning."
I originally assumed by reading that passage that Gavin Floyd had won a spot with Ozzie unable to decide between the two lefties, but I had simply missed the previous paragraph about Floyd being likely to open the season in Charlotte's rotation. The only other option remaining is David Aardsma, who by most accounts has had a terrible spring. He needs to be able to throw strikes more consistently, and be able to get his slider, which isn't as bad as initially advertised, over the plate. This will be Floyd and Aardsma's final option year.

Back to Wikiality

Wiki Gonzalez must not have called a very good game today. He was sent to minor league camp while Gustavo Molina appears destined to be carrying a .084 batting average in May when the Sox finally decide to look for a competent backup catcher.

At least we got that problem against lefties all nailed down.

The 2006 White Sox ranked 25th in baseball in OPS vs. LHP. And thanks to number of tough lefties within the division they just happened to have 150 more at-bats against LHP than any other team in baseball, about 400 more than the major league average. They fixed that problem by leading the league in 4th outfielders (Anderson, Podsednik, Erstad, Mackowiak, Ozuna), only one of whom can hit LHP, and none who hit for above average power. The only other spot in the lineup that is looking at a change from last year is backup catcher, which I assume we don't need to go over anymore. Hall would have been a very nice upgrade, but it appears that the Sox are looking to do the unpossible, as Ralph Wiggum would say. They've got a fighting chance to get worse production from their backup back stop this year.