Chicago White Sox:
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While the Indians may consider the DH an afterthought, the White Sox right now are scrambling to fill their DH void after Adam LaRoche abruptly retired last week. Though replacing LaRoche’s numbers won’t be that difficult, as he hit just over the Mendoza line and “slugged” 12 HRs and drove in just 44.
Our friends at Southside Showdown see the Sox filling the DH internally, with a combination of outfielders Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia, and backup catcher Dioner Navarro all seeing time at designated hitter. While they are employing the same strategy to “create” a DH as the Cleveland Indians are, the sum of the parts will be better than the what the Indians will produce.
An aggregate 20 HR, 75-80 RBIs from the DH spot would be a success, and an improvement, for the White Sox in 2016. Not to mention, they will have freed up $13 million in salary with LaRoche’s retirement.
If the White Sox are in contention at the trade deadline, they could be players for a veteran DH bat. It wouldn’t be inconceivable to see someone like Carlos Quentin returning to the south side of Chicago this summer if he cannot find a roster spot in the crowded Twins outfield/DH spots.
Ranking of the AL Central at Designated Hitter:
- Royals – Consistency of Kendrys Morales, plus the lineup hitting in front of him, has the Royals DH on pace for another 100+ RBI year.
- Twins – Byung-ho Park looks to be the real thing. This projection could look foolish if he breaks out with a 30 HR/100 RBI season.
- Tigers – Victor Martinez would rank higher if he played the Twins every day. As it is, his age and injury concerns have him in the middle.
- White Sox – No true DH, but their parts as a whole place them above the Indians. Plus, a possible reunion with Carlos Quentin?
- Indians – Is Pronk ready to un-retire? The Indians’ sum of their parts have them last in the DH category.