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3 questions as full team practices begin in spring training


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Manager Pedro Grifol felt the Chicago White Sox were able to accomplish what they felt was necessary with pitchers and catchers through the first five days of camp.

“We’re in a good spot for those position players to come in and integrate into our practices,” Grifol said Sunday at Camelback Ranch.

Position players will be added to the equation with the first full team practice on Monday.

“The plan was to get the pitchers ready, do all the introductions with our bases and then have an introduction (Monday) with the position players and then get them up to speed over the next four days (prior to Friday’s Cactus League opener),” Grifol said. “Then we’ll slow it down and make it really technical.

“But we will be at a high energy level for the next four days.”

Many of the position players have already made appearances at Camelback Ranch.

As the Sox enter the next phase of structuring their 26-man roster for Opening Day, there are three questions facing the team.

Which returning player will take the next step?

Chicago White Sox designated hitter Eloy Jiménez bats against the New York Yankees on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at Guaranteed Rate Field. (Trent Sprague/Chicago Tribune)

Louis Robert Jr. Increased its performance in 2023He reached career highs in various categories while earning his first All-Star selection.

Which player could potentially make a splash in 2024?

First baseman Andrew Vaughn set career highs in several offensive categories in 2023, including home runs (21) and RBI (80).

During last week’s spring training preview Zoom call, general manager Chris Getz said Vaughn “expects to take a step forward.”

The 2019 season exemplified third baseman Yoán Moncada’s potential, hitting .315 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs. He hit .260 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs in 92 games in a 2023 season that was interrupted several times by back issues.

Eloy Jiménez played in 120 games last season and was close to his career-best 122 in his rookie season in 2019. He had 18 home runs and 64 RBIs; that was his best numbers since 2019, when he hit 31 home runs and drove in 79 strikeouts.

“(Moncada) is determined to go out there and have a solid year for us,” Getz said. “Things have to go well and we have to get through spring training and the early part of the season, and Eloy Jiménez is someone else. We saw the potential he has on offense. He’s very productive when he’s on the field. He’s dealt with a lot of the issues he’s had in the past health-wise, with the exception of appendicitis surgery last year. He’s been productive on a regular basis.” “I think he’s in a good position to be.”

How will the new-look midfield perform?

White Sox-DeJong Baseball

Paul DeJong of the San Francisco Giants runs the field line during a baseball game on August 23, 2023 in Philadelphia.

Matt Slocum/AP

Paul DeJong of the San Francisco Giants runs the baseline during a game on Aug. 23, 2023, in Philadelphia. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Elvis Andrus and Tim Anderson started at second base and shortstop, respectively, for the Sox in the 2023 season opener in Houston.

Both are free agents, so the Sox will bring a fresh perspective to these two teams this season.

They bought field players Nicky Lopez and Braden Shewmake From the Atlanta Braves in the Aaron Bummer trade in November. They signed a shortstop 1-year deal with Paul DeJong later that month.

Lopez and DeJong played for multiple teams last season.


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