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Gearing up for the start of the season, I started working on a project ranking the 40 most important members of the White Sox this season.
Then, I thought, “Why keep all the fun to myself?”
Below, you can rank 40 members of the White Sox in order from most important to the 2010 team’s hopes, to the most irrelevant to the immediate future.
Now, “importance” is kind of a nebulous term, but let me try to explain my methodology. Basically, I’m attempting to sort out who has the most responsibility resting on his shoulders.
Jake Peavy should be near the top of everybody’s list, if not No. 1. If he meets his considerable potential, only Justin Verlander can match him (edit: on AL Central contenders). If he suffers another injury, the Sox’s one true strength is greatly sapped.
Now, compare him to Freddy Garcia. Garcia could add value to the team as a fifth starter, but he hasn’t pitched a full season since 2006. I might pencil him in for 110 innings of a 5.00 ERA, which, to me, seems like a compromise for quantity and quality. The drop-off from him to Daniel Hudson isn’t much, so Peavy is far ahead of Garcia on the list. And some of you might even put Hudson ahead of Garcia, should you think Garcia has only 70 innings in him. If that.
Another example: Some might think Tyler Flowers will need to produce as the DH when Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay falter. Others may think Flowers will spend the entire year in Triple-A no matter what happens. That would create a huge difference in rankings.
That’s the jist of it. I started doing it myself to figure out who’s really under the gun due to this team’s strange roster construction, and realized that opinion on a handful of players could vary wildly.
If you have some time, give it a few minutes. I arranged the names in tiers to reduce the amount of rearranging — for instance, Carlos Quentin would have probably required 27 clicks to get him near his rightful position on the original list.