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Rick Hahn addresses the media in advance of tardy spring training

Reading between the lines of the first front office press conference of 2022.

MLB: Chicago White Sox-Workouts
“Yep, roster looks complete.”
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It took approximately 15 joyful hours of baseball being “back” for GM Rick Hahn to remind White Sox fans of their menial place within the hierarchy of teams ostensibly trying to better their chances of winning the World Series, with a lukewarm — albeit somewhat informative — press conference that told us little, hinted at a lot, and suggested that, unsurprisingly, the status quo is much as it was left the last time he spoke to the media.

If that seems like a particularly harsh introduction to a relatively mundane and inoffensive media session, it’s because it is. Hahn said nothing today that was worthy of too much praise or ire, but the timing of his availability — just a little bit too early in the day to be asked anything about the circumstances surrounding Carlos Rodón’s two-year, $44 million deal with San Francisco, which broke minutes after the Q&A’s conclusion — suggests that fans should have little hope for a sudden sea-change from an organization traditionally happy with half-measures and the bare minimum.

Having received confirmation that Hahn still delivers the information with a sphinx’s coyness and that a Jerry Reinsdorf organization is still being run like a Jerry Reinsdorf organization, we did get a few nuggets about the composition of the 2022 White Sox. Though Rodón was not yet out of the picture at the time it was reported, it appears that some form of non-traditional pitching rotation is in the cards for the team this summer:

With Dylan Cease’s pitch count difficulties, the rote impossibility of Michael Kopech safely delivering more than 150 innings this season, and Dallas Keuchel’s inability to get through an order three times without sending his ERA the way of gas prices, a traditional five-man rotation seems like a long shot for the team. Without Rodón in the fold, the team’s rotation depth amounts to Reynaldo López, Jonathan Stiever, and Jimmy Lambert.

That being the case, it’s unsurprising that Hahn considers pitching depth to be a more pressing need than the still-gaping holes found at second base and right field:

Notably, one player who will likely not be a candidate to contribute any rotation depth is Garrett Crochet:

At the same time, Hahn also clarified that no decisions had been made, and that Crochet’s final role will be determined by his performance in training camp.

On the position player side, little was said regarding the holes at the keystone and corner outfield, outside of the fact that they exist and that while he’s not expected to contribute in the near future, everyone is pleased to have Oscar Colás signed and in tow:

Hahn’s media time began with an expected update on the status of Sox players entering training camp — they’re all expected to be there by Sunday, barring those with potential visa holdups — and at the conclusion, the biggest takeaway was an also-to-be-expected equivocation of the team’s commitment to improving the roster before Opening Day:

There’s rarely anything of value to be gleaned from these kinds of media sessions, but the recipe remains the same for the White Sox: A reminder that the team is good, an acknowledgment that it has flaws, a pinky-promise to try their doggone hardest to address those flaws — but with the caveat that of course they’re more than happy to take their chances with the roster as currently constructed should those very serious efforts turn out to be fruitless.

May the 2022 season bring less déjà vu on the field than in the front office!