White Sox finalize Opening Day roster

March 30th, 2023

HOUSTON -- The White Sox are coming off a strong and successful first Spring Training under new manager Pedro Grifol. Here is the 26-man Opening Day roster that will take them to what they hope will be an equally impressive 2023 regular season.

Catcher (2): ,
The White Sox have two viable options with the bat behind the plate after Zavala knocked out five Cactus League home runs following a productive campaign offensively in 2022. A bounce-back season from Grandal, who is healthy and in great physical condition, is essential for team success.

First base (1):
Others: , Grandal
The Vaughn era at first base begins after he worked through lower back issues over the last few weeks of Spring Training. José Abreu will be on the field for the season opener at Minute Maid Park on Thursday, but he will be playing for Houston after a nine-year career with the White Sox.

“Always respect. He taught me a lot,” shortstop Tim Anderson said of Abreu. “I’m going to be excited to play against him. Hopefully he has a great season, but not against us.”

Second base (1):
Others: ,
Gonzalez was the clubhouse favorite at second base before the White Sox added Andrus, whose first big league inning away from shortstop will be on Opening Day. Andrus gives the White Sox two shortstops up the middle and brings back a respected clubhouse presence.

Shortstop (1):
Others: Andrus, Alberto
If you still don’t believe in Anderson as a shortstop -- now in his eighth season in the Majors -- then he’s not going to try to change your mind. Anderson has nothing really to prove to others, focused instead on getting better every day and helping the White Sox win. As for his backup?

“Our backup shortstop plays second base for us every day,” Grifol said.

Third base (1):
Others: Alberto, Gonzalez
After being named to the All-World Baseball Classic team, Moncada looks primed for a return to excellence in 2023. He exited Sunday’s game after two innings due to back tightness, but he was deemed regular-season ready at Wednesday’s optional workout.

Outfield (3): , ,
Others: Sheets, , Gonzalez
The White Sox have an outfield filled with ... outfielders. And good defensive outfielders, at that. Colas earned his spot on the roster, with Grifol praising the rookie but also challenging him daily.

“Obviously the talent, the ability to change a game at any given moment in many different ways,” Grifol said of Colas. “Most importantly, his aptitude and his willingness to improve on a daily basis. That’s the most important thing for me because he’s going to have to continue to improve.”

Designated hitter (1): Jiménez
Others: Sheets
, Vaughn, Grandal
Jiménez will get opportunities in right field, possibly in the season opener against Astros ace Framber Valdez. He’s worked to earn those chances, but he will be primarily counted on with the bat.

Utility (3): Sheets, Alberto, Gonzalez
Once the longest-tenured White Sox player, Leury García, won’t be with the team after it reportedly cut ties and absorbed $11 million in sunk costs over the final two years of his deal. Gonzalez played seemingly everywhere but catcher and pitcher during Spring Training, and he’s the emergency catcher.

“When we told [Gonzalez] he made the club, he said, ‘You know I’d run through a wall for this team,’” general manager Rick Hahn said. “That’s the FCC approved version of what he said.

“We told him not to do that. We’ve had guys try to do that and it hasn’t gone real well in recent years. That’s the kind of player he is. He’s high energy and can impact the game in a lot of different ways.”

Starting pitchers (5): , , , ,
This rotation should be a strong suit. It’s also a group working together, with four previously knowing each other coming into this season.

“That's kind of what Pedro's preaching, getting that community, getting that culture built,” Giolito said. “Starting pitchers, we kind of make it go for the team. We're setting up the rest of the team to be successful and win games.”

Bullpen (8): , , , , , , , Gregory Santos
Look out for Ruiz as an X-factor following a dominant performance for Venezuela at the World Baseball Classic. Santos earned the last roster spot over Nick Avila, a Rule 5 Draft selection, who was returned to the Giants, and veteran Bryan Shaw.