Had it not been for the White Sox’s rotation, things could have been worse for Chicago in 2022. The White Sox own an impressive rotation, led by three talented right-handers that have proven their weight in gold in recent years. Here’s a closer look at how the White Sox staff, as a whole, could shake out in 2023.
Related: Projecting the Reds Rotation for 2023
A Look at the White Sox Rotation for 2023
- RHP Dylan Cease (14-8, 2.20 ERA, 11.1 K/9 in 2022)
- RHP Lucas Giolito (11-9, 4.90 ERA, 9.9 K/9)
- RHP Lance Lynn (8-7, 3.99 ERA, 9.2 K/9)
- RHP Mike Clevinger (7-7, 4.43 ERA, 7.2 K/9)
- RHP Michael Kopech (5-9, 3.54 ERA, 7.9 K/9)
Aside from Mike Clevinger, who’s set to slot in the Chicago rotation for the departed RHP Johnny Cueto, the White Sox bring back the core of its rotation from 2022.
RHP Dylan Cease emerged as not just the ace of the White Sox pitching staff last season, but one of the best starters in the game. Cease may have posted a K/9 rate lower than his 2021 (12.3) total last year, but the 27-year-old proved to be tougher to hit and more effective with his elite arsenal.
Pending free agent Lucas Giolito should slot in right behind Cease in 2023. Giolito’s numbers went in the opposite direction in 2022, as both his walk and ERA numbers went in the wrong direction. The 28-year-old still has the stuff to be a dominant pitcher, but command will be key for it to work in 2023.
Right-hander Lance Lynn also saw a jump in his ERA from a year earlier, when the 35-year-old posted a 2.69 ERA. A torn tendon and a myriad of issues on the mound were the stories of Lynn’s first half, but he came back to be a force after the All-Star Break. Lynn went 7-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 89 strikeouts over 85.2 IP, strong numbers that fell in line with what he recorded in the 2021 campaign.
Arguably the most talked about name in Spring Training has been RHP Mike Clevinger. Clevinger returned to the mound for the first time since 2020 last year, and posted his worst season since his rookie campaign with Cleveland in 2016. Chicago signed him in the winter to fill out a strong rotation on paper, but his status for this season is still up in the air. The 32-year-old is currently under investigation for violations of MLB’s domestic violence policy.
26-year-old Michael Kopech had just eight starts in the Majors prior to 2022, a season in which the righty made 25 starts of the White Sox. While Kopech did post a solid 3.54 ERA in 2022, the righty’s strikeout, walk, and batted ball metrics were all less-than-stellar. The former top prospect still boasts impressive stuff, but there’s still some refinement to be done for Kopech.
If needed, RHP Davis Martin, or prospects like Sean Burke and Norge Vera may be called upon for service if needed in 2023.