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I am one of many White Sox fans who have high hopes for 2010 after a disappointing 2009 season. But unlike Cubs fans whose hopes are misguided/unfounded/illogical, our hopes for the Sox are soundly grounded in fact. First, I have to talk about arguably the most important aspect of baseball and that is pitching. It will be hard to find a more dominant starting rotation in 2010 than that of the White Sox. With Gavin Floyd and Jake Peavy healthy, and the return of Mark Buehrle and John Danks we front a solid four man rotation. As for the fifth man, that was a struggle in ’09 with Bartolo Colon, Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia and Daniel Hudson taking cracks at the job. But with Colon and Contreras out of the picture either the veteran Garcia (nephew of manager Ozzie Guillen) or the rookie Hudson ought to be more than sufficient to fill the hole. After all, Garcia knows how to pitch, as he demonstrated in our championship run in ’05 and Hudson showed a great deal of promise in limited action towards the end of the season. The bullpen could use some shoring up, with closer Bobby Jenks battling inconsistency throughout last season, but Matt Thornton and Scott Linebrink along with some young guns should be able to get the job done when handed the ball in late inning situations. After all, our offense will certainly move up from its previous middle of the pack standing due to a couple of key facts. Alexi Ramirez had to adjust to his first full season at shortstop after the departure of Orlando Cabrera. His batting average will rise. Gordon Beckham and Chris Getz were both tremendous in their rookie campaigns but with their adjustments to major league pitching, their batting averages too will rise. Alex Rios is looking to see everyday action in the outfield, and is a career .270ish hitter and looks to return to that batting average after a disappointing second half with the White Sox. His batting average will rise. Paul Konerko is solid at first base as is A.J. Pierzynski at catcher. Carlos Quentin looks to get back on track after an injury ridden season. His batting average will also rise. Mark Kotsay adds versatility to the outfield and infield with offensive potency and good fielding (why would the BoSox get rid of him for Brian Anderson?). Scott Podsednik solidified his return to the majors with a stand out season as leadoff man, despite looking out of place in left field. If you take all of this into consideration and then factor in the unpredictable leadership of Ozzie Guillen I would look for the Sox to be contenders next year. Go Sox!
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