Why MLB host thinks White Sox will be 'markedly better' in '23 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
After another disappointing season in what was believed to be the White Sox' championship window, and a less-than-exciting offseason, White Sox fans for the most part are not getting their hopes up for 2023. But MLB Network host Matt Vasgersian believes things will improve on the South Side in 2023.
"I think it's going to be markedly better than an 81-win team," Vasgersian said on MLB Network on Tuesday.
That's a reference to last season's record, when the White Sox went 81-81 and finished 11 games behind the Guardians in the A.L. Central. Even though the White Sox didn't radically change their roster, there are several reasons to be optimistic like Vasgersian.
First, is the expected arrival of prospect Oscar Colas. The White Sox signed Colas to an international free agent deal last year, and he quickly ascended from High-A ball, to Double-A and Triple-A.
"Kind of the prototypical corner outfielder: huge arm, huge power," noted one MLB Network analyst. "But you read the reports and he also has an advanced approach, uses the whole field, when he gets into two-strike counts he has a feel for hitting."
New manager Pedro Grifol has said Colas will have every opportunity to win the starting right field job out of camp, since Andrew Benintendi is locked into left field and Luis Robert will be the everyday starter in center. Even if Colas doesn't make the team after Spring Training, the expectation is he'll make his MLB debut at some point this year.
Vasgersian believes the White Sox will respond well to Grifol, too, and expects him to make a positive impact on the clubhouse culture.
"Because he's bilingual, because he's reached out and created these relationships with younger players, with the Spanish-speaking players," Vasgersian said.
But one of the biggest reasons to be optimistic is that the White Sox will be healthy once again.
Last year Eloy Jimenez missed 84 games, Tim Anderson was out for 89 games, Luis Robert missed 98, Yasmani Grandal missed 99 and Yoan Moncada missed 104. That's pretty much the entire core of the White Sox lineup out for more than half the season. Of course injuries are a part of every MLB season, and there will be more injuries this year. But there should be some regression back to the mean for the White Sox in 2023.
So if you're feeling down on the White Sox already, maybe Vasgergian can make you feel better:
"I think it's going to be good there, man."
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