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White Sox Thu Aug 29 2013

Future Begins Now (Well, Sunday) For White Sox

Sox_200.pngThough they haven't been rookie of the year candidates, the important thing for the White Sox is that their three main 2013 call-ups are at least in the game.

Josh Phegley, Avisail Garcia and Andre Rienzo have had a mixed bag so far in the bigs, flashing their potential while also reminding fans and management that they are works in progress. Phegley had a nice opening week but is now down to batting near the Mendoza Line. Garcia is hitting .328, but hasn't yet shown to be a power hitter. Rienzo has had four quality starts in seven appearances, yet still sports a 4.21 ERA.

While Phegley, Garcia and Rienzo aren't of the Jurickson Profar/Yasiel Puig/Jose Fernandez class of young players, they all figure to be big parts of the Sox roster moving forward. Along with Chris Sale and Addison Reed, and maybe even Hector Santiago and Dayan Viciedo, the Sox are trying to build a core of under-25 guys that should be in their primes by the next time the team is successful. It's good that all of them are playing in the majors now, learning on the fly.

It's just a shame that Phegley, Garcia and Rienzo have been the only three big call-ups so far. While the rotation has four pitchers under 25, the Sox have been basically playing the same guys they have been for the last few years out in the field: veteran players who will be long gone after this rebuild is through.

There are multiple reasons for this. The big one is that the Sox farm system wasn't that strong in the first place, so no impact prospects were on the horizon that needed an immediate call-up. So even when there were holes to fill, journeymen like Blake Tekotte and Casper Wells got the playing time. Also, the Sox have essentially been forced to play their veterans. They signed them under the belief that they would be contenders this year. Unfortunately for them, they aren't, and moving Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez and Jeff Keppinger is easier said than done. There's really nowhere to put them except out on the field.

Sunday brings a new day. It will be September 1, and the Sox can give a number of their top, almost-ready prospects a chance to show what they got. Starting pitcher Erik Johnson, reliever Daniel Webb and infielder Marcus Semien are all on top of the call-up list. Maybe even Trayce Thompson, though having a subpar year, can get a few at-bats in the majors. Fellow Sox minor leaguers like Leury Garcia and Jake Petricka were already called up this week.

Expect a six-man rotation if Johnson is even mildly successful, and expect days where the Sox "rest" all of their veterans. September will be a nice time to see just what the Sox have, if there is anyone else who can join Phegley, Garcia and Rienzo going into 2014, and beyond.

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