GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The 2019 White Sox won 72 games, marking a 10-win jump from the '18 campaign.
Predicting a playoff move in 2020, let alone discussing the idea of winning it all, seems to be somewhat of a stretch even for this vastly improved squad.
Just don’t try to convince the White Sox players of that statistical logic, as upbeat and optimistic pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch on Wednesday for physicals and their first workouts.
“If I said we weren’t trying to win a World Series, then I’d be lying,” said catcher James McCann. “You go into every season with an expectation to win. This season is obviously no different, but there is a little more in regards to the moves that were made in the offseason. It’s win now, and it’s not just get to the playoffs, it’s win a World Series.”
“We’re going to be way better than last year,” starting pitcher Reynaldo López said through interpreter Billy Russo.
“We need to make everybody better. It doesn’t matter if you’re a reliever or a position player,” said catcher Yasmani Grandal. “I’m going to do my homework on everybody and make sure everybody is on the same page, and then we’ll go from there. We’ll make adjustments as the year goes on. So, the quicker we can do it, the better.”
General manager Rick Hahn spoke again of how the rebuild is designed to lead to multi-year success and multiple runs at a World Series title, not just a jump up in 2020. He is also not one to dampen fans’ high expectations as they come into this season brimming with excitement, understanding that they took some lumps over the past three years of losing.
“I think we are better today than we were at the end of last season,” Hahn said during a Wednesday press conference. “I think we are going to be better at the All-Star break than we are on Opening Day. And I think we will probably be better at the end of this season than we are at the All-Star break. It’s a continued upward progression that in the not too distant future we feel is going to put us in the position we want to be in.”
Here is a look at some frequently asked questions as White Sox Spring Training gets underway.
Full squad report date
First full-squad workout
February 17, the same as report day
New faces to know
Catcher Yasmani Grandal, left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel, left-handed pitcher Gio González, designated hitter Edwin Encarnación, right-handed pitcher Steve Cishek and outfielder Nomar Mazara
Top prospects to know
Outfielder Luis Robert (No. 3 prospect overall per MLB Pipeline), right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech (No. 20 overall), first baseman Andrew Vaughn (No. 16), second baseman Nick Madrigal (No. 40 overall), catcher Zack Collins and outfielder Micker Adolfo.
Where is the facility?
Camelback Ranch, 10710 W. Camelback Road, Glendale, Ariz.
Can fans attend workouts?
Workouts are open to the fans. They take place on the back fields of the White Sox complex at Camelback Ranch and usually start somewhere between 9:30-10 a.m. Based on comments from manager Rick Renteria, fans can expect an emphasis on defense throughout the workouts.
February 22 vs. the Angels at Camelback Ranch, 2:05 p.m. CT.
First TV game
Six Cactus League games will be broadcast by NBC Sports Chicago, with the first one coming on Feb. 24 against the Dodgers at Camelback. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. CT. Jason Benetti and Steve Stone will broadcast all six televised games. There will be 13 additional webcasts on whitesox.com, beginning on Feb. 22 at 2:05 p.m. CT when the White Sox host the Angels. Russ Langer and Rich King will handle the webcasts.
Other notable games
The White Sox face the Cubs on March 6 in Mesa at 2:05 p.m. CT, and the Cubs visit the White Sox on March 13 at 3:05 p.m. CT.
Last Cactus League game in Arizona
March 22, vs. the D-backs at 2:05 p.m. CT.
Any additional exhibitions before the regular season?
The D-backs host the White Sox for two games at Chase Field on March 23 at 8:40 p.m. CT and March 24 at 2:40 p.m. CT.
Opening Day date, time, opponent and location
The White Sox open the regular season on Thursday, March 26, at home at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Royals with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CT. The teams have an off-day the following day.