Breaking down the Minnesota Twins’ AL Central Rivals: Chicago White Sox
Puckett’s Pond takes a look at the Minnesota Twins’ American League Central rivals, starting with the Chicago White Sox, their main competitor in 2020.
With baseball still postponed, the Minnesota Twins’ push to win the AL Central will have to wait. With that in mind, Puckett’s Pond will break down the other teams in the AL Central, and how they stack up against the Twins.
We’ll be starting with one of the Twins’ main competitors in the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox had a very active offseason, bringing in several players that should help them be better than they were last year when the team won seventy-two games.
We’ll compare how the teams did in the offseason, how their rotations compete, what the bullpen and lineup look like, how schedules look, and some intangibles. With all that in mind, we’ll get started.
Minnesota Twins offseason vs. Chicago White Sox offseason
The Twins put together offseason, bringing in catcher Alex Avila, and pitchers Rich Hill, Homer Bailey and Tyler Clippard to help shore up the back-end of their rotation and bullpen while re-signing Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, and Sergio Romo, three key contributors from 2019.
The best part? That was all before bringing in Kenta Maeda and Josh Donaldson as the headliners of their huge offseason haul. They let go of C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Kyle Gibson, and Jason Castro, but each was replaced with a higher quality player.
While the Twins had a strong offseason, the White Sox may have had a better one. The White Sox brought in former All-Stars in Dallas Kuechel and Gio Gonzalez to help the rotation while adding Steve Cishek and his 2.69 career ERA to boost the bullpen.
They also made major upgrades to their lineup by signing slugger Edwin Encarnacion, trading a low-level prospect for another slugger in Nomar Mazara, re-signing Jose Abreu, and winning the free agent race for star catcher Yasmani Grandal.
The White Sox only had one major departure in 2019 Gold Glove Winner Yolmer Sánchez, but his offense was so bad it may be an improvement. The team also seems ready to reap the rewards of their excellent farm system, as Luis Robert and Michael Kopech seem ready to make the leap. The south siders win this one. Advantage: White Sox
Minnesota Twins Intangibles vs. Chicago White Sox Intangibles
While Chicago is a larger city than the Twin Cities combined, most Chicagoans claim the Cubs as their favorite baseball team, with the Cubs bringing in more fans every season since 1995. This gives the Twins a big leg up, as Twins have topped the White Sox in attendance every year since 2008.
The Twins also have a superior manager and coaching staff. Rocco Baldelli won manager of the year in his first season last year and 101 wins, while Sox manager Rick Renteria has led the Sox to three straight seasons below 75 wins.
Lastly, the Minnesota Twins return almost the same roster from 2019, giving them the edge over a White Sox team that is still going through the final stages of a rebuild. The chemistry, coaching, and fan base give the Twins a huge lead in this category. Advantage: Twins.