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First impressions of the new White Sox

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Austin Jackson stands out in center field despite error to have the best debut of the bunch

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox' season-opening victory against the Oakland Athletics looked surprisingly familiar considering more than half of the lineup was new.

Five guys made their WhiteSox debut on Monday, so let's rank them for no good reason, other than providing a structure in which I can share otherwise assorted thoughts.

No. 1: Austin Jackson

1-for-3, run, walk, strikeout, error

Jackson committed the lone error on Monday when he fumbled picking up a single, but he made up for it elsewhere. He drew the team's lone walk, and then he drew enough attention at first base to draw a bad pickoff throw from Rich Hill. Later in the game, he singled off John Axford, literally.

He made a bigger impact in the field, even accounting for the error. He came in on a low liner -- the kind we've seen skip past White Sox outfielders in the past -- for the third out of the second inning, then ranged back to make Khris Davis' fly to deep center look like a can of corn.

Adam Eaton also handled right field with no issues, so the new outfield alignment is off to an encouraging start.

No. 2: Jimmy Rollins

1-for-4, RBI, run

Batting second against a lefty probably isn't advisable for future games, but Rollins came through when the Sox needed him, following up Eaton's RBI triple with an RBI single to right to make it a 2-0 game in the third inning.

He made the plays he got to, although a couple of singles off Chris Sale made it through the left side. I don't think they were plays an average shortstop can make, but Rollins' range is something to monitor, especially when Tyler Saladino gets into the action.

No. 3: Dioner Navarro

0-for-4, pickoff

Navarro was a nonfactor at the plate, hitting three routine groundouts and flirting with a double play on a popped-up bunt (the A's took the sure single out instead).

But Sale won his 2016 debut after throwing to nobody but Tyler Flowers the year before, and that's something. An early look at the pitch charts suggests that Navarro was neutral as a receiver, which is a step down from his predecessor. Nevertheless, neutral is fine when considering his iffy history, and he and Sale worked through a ragged third inning and reestablished a rhythm over his final four innings. Navarro assisted in closing his tab, in fact, picking off Billy Burns with a quick-fire pickoff.

All in all, Navarro did the job for a game he wasn't even supposed to start. Robin Ventura opted away from Alex Avila when the A's announced that Sonny Gray couldn't start due to food poisoning, replacing their star righty with the lefty Hill. At the very least, it seems like Sale won't have a personal catcher unless circumstances demand one.

No. 4: Brett Lawrie

1-for-4, strikeout, CS

Lawrie received the opportunity to close out the game against his former team, and he converted with a play in shallow right field for the 27th out. He also shot a single to left, which was the lone non-infield hit after the third inning.

But his misdirected hustle got the best of him on a couple of occasions. He was picked off trying to steal second in the ninth inning, which was bad enough, but the replay showed that he would've beaten the throw had his front sliding foot not missed the bag.

He also caused me to yell "CALL FOR IT" at my TV for the first time all season, as he nearly speared Jackson on a shallow fly to center.

Jackson-Lawrie GIF

You can chalk up some of that to unfamiliarity between two new teammates, but this is part of Lawrie's reputation, too.

No. 5: Todd Frazier

0-for-4, two strikeouts

Frazier was the most critical offseason addition, so of course he would have the emptiest night of all. He went hitless in four at-bats, including two strikeouts and an infield pop-out. He appeared to struggle picking up Hill's pitches in particular*, as he missed a couple pitches he probably shouldn't have. And unlike the other hitless newbie Navarro, he didn't even get a chance in the field to make up for it.

(That's what it looked like to me, anyway. Frazier's still new to us, so I may have my own problems picking up what he's putting down until he starts building a body of work in Chicago.)