Who might White Sox turn to behind starters?

Breaking down six internal depth options for the 2023 season

January 20th, 2023

CHICAGO -- The White Sox tweeted out a message that read, “Straight HEAT from the mound” on Wednesday in relation to the statistics accumulated since 2020 by the currently laid-out starting rotation of Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Mike Clevinger.

But White Sox fans understand more than five talented starters are needed in even the best of seasons, so will that depth come from within? Here’s a look at six possibilities who could assist in the 2023 season:


was a surprise arrival to some in 2022 after not being part of big league Spring Training, though he would have been there if not for the CBA negotiations delaying camp’s start. The 26-year-old right-hander was a solid addition for the White Sox over nine starts and five relief appearances, with his overall numbers skewed downward after allowing nine earned runs in 1 2/3 innings during the final game of the regular season against the Twins.

“It was like, ‘All right, Davis is going to go Double-A or Triple-A,’” White Sox pitching coordinator Everett Teaford said of Martin. “‘He’s going to be a starter. Why send him to big league camp and interrupt his build-up?’

“Internally we always thought he could be a back end of the rotation starter. So, obviously he provides some depth and can go up there and be a productive starter.”


Ranked at No. 9 on Chicago's Top 30 prospects list per MLB Pipeline, Sean Burke is the highest-rated starter among this group. The 23-year-old right-hander, who was selected in the third round of the 2021 MLB Draft, posted a 4.75 ERA between stops at High-A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham, and Triple-A Charlotte in 2022, with 137 strikeouts in 108 innings pitched.

“Finished the year really strong in Double-A, Triple-A,” Teaford said. “Some of the [Minor League] stats weren’t necessarily the sexiest, but the stuff was still good and he had some unfortunate outcomes on some batted-ball stuff. He could be a guy who is in that mix. Gets off to a good start and is an option with Davis.”

“Sean Burke is certainly making his way into the depth conversation,” added White Sox assistant general manager of player development Chris Getz.


made two starts for the White Sox in 2020, but his 2021 season ended prematurely due to right lat surgery. His velocity was down during three injury rehab appearances at the close of ’22 for Charlotte, but it was not unexpected.

“It was a real surgery. It was a real injury,” Teaford said. “We’ll kind of see where he’s at.”

Johan Dominguez, 27, had Tommy John surgery last May and isn’t projected to be back until June. He arguably would have received the starts Martin did last season if healthy, per Teaford.

“He was ahead of Davis when he got hurt,” said Teaford of Dominguez, who is back on a two-year Minor League contract. “Looks really, really good, and hopefully there’s some chance for him at the end of July, August if need be. Hopefully we don’t need it, but you can’t ever have enough pitching.”


Matthew Thompson has a 5.24 ERA over 47 career Minor League starts since being taken in the second round of the 2019 Draft. But both Teaford and Getz mentioned the No. 15 prospect as possible in-season rotation help.

“Thompson would be probably the first one kind of looking outside the Triple-A group,” Teaford said. “Matt Thompson took a lot of strides last year.

“Did a lot of really good things and he’s really starting to -- I don’t want to say figure it out, but he’s come a long way in the past 24 months. He could be a guy maybe that’s middle of the season to the back end of the season in Triple-A and see how it’s going.”


Want someone somewhat off the radar? Teaford went with Garrett Schoenle, a 24-year-old left-hander who spent the end of the 2022 season compiling a 2.25 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 16 innings as part of the White Sox Project Birmingham.

“He’s just cool, calm, collected. He trusts himself. He trusts his stuff. Pounds the zone. It’s a unique look. His fastball never gets hit,” Teaford said. “Even in Birmingham, it didn’t get hit.

“We were like, ‘Let’s see what this actually is?’ Schoenle would probably be the guy that nobody would have any clue of and then in August, could pop up there somehow.”