CHICAGO -- Here's a pre-Winter Meetings look at some White Sox questions.Aside from Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, who do you see available that can help this club?
-- Bob, Spring Hill, Fla., @behnke47White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has talked pitching and continued to talk pitching even after the
CHICAGO -- Here's a pre-Winter Meetings look at some White Sox questions.
Aside from Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, who do you see available that can help this club?
-- Bob, Spring Hill, Fla., @behnke47
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has talked pitching and continued to talk pitching even after the team acquired Alex Colome from the Mariners last Friday. The White Sox have yet to address starting pitching, and adding a little more roster flexibility offensively would make sense as well.
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I get a sense of quiet confidence emanating from the White Sox right now. We'll soon discover if it's tied to something major in the offing or the continued satisfaction of following this rebuilding path, with good things coming on the horizon.
Yoan Moncada. Do you think he will live up to the hype and hit his potential soon?
-- Jimmy, @cinco9178
One of the most impressive things about Moncada is how he understands the development process. He doesn't hang his head over 0-for-20 stretches and doesn't allow the three- or four-strikeout games to dampen his confidence. Here's one fact to keep in mind in relation to his 217 strikeouts in 2018, thanks to Statcast™: He had 60 called third strikes on what would be classified as on the edges of the strike zone or outside, which topped the Majors by a sizeable margin (Mike Trout second at 39).
Moncada already began the quest to improve his offense with a couple weeks of work at Camelback Ranch under the guidance of manager Rick Renteria and hitting coach Todd Steverson. He needs to improve upon last year's performance, but Moncada again understands better than anyone one full season doesn't make a career.
Are the White Sox poised to make a big free-agent splash as reports are saying or will they be quiet during the offseason?
-- Adam, Orlando, Fla., @KUNOS19
They certainly appear to be employing every effort to make a big free-agent splash. Stay tuned to see if it eventually plays out.
Does Lucas Giolito still figure into the White Sox plans for the future?
-- Peter B., Mansfield, Ohio
Giolito joins Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez as one of three White Sox primary starting pitchers heading into the 2019 season. He had a very tough '18 statistically, leading the American League with 90 walks and posting the highest ERA (6.13) among qualifiers due to a bad first two months and even worse September. But Giolito can put those numbers aside to focus on improvements made with his mechanics and with his mound mindset.
Dylan Cease figures to move into the rotation at some point this season, and a healthy Michael Kopech will be back in 2020. With the White Sox also looking to add pitching, it's incumbent on Giolito to continue pushing forward to hold his starting spot.
Will the White Sox look for a closer from the free-agent market? How about getting [David] Robertson back?
-- Michael, Chicago
This question was sent before the White Sox acquired Colome via trade from the Mariners, but they are still looking for late-inning help to add to the mix. Robertson is a very interesting situation in that he's representing himself as a free agent, but I don't think he ends up back with the White Sox.
What are the plans for Carson Fulmer in 2019? Nobody talks about him anymore.
-- Andrew, @supersoxfan79
From July 13 to Sept. 1, Fulmer worked exclusively in relief for Triple-A Charlotte. He posted a 4.37 ERA out of the bullpen against a 5.80 ERA as a starter for the Knights to go with his 8.07 ERA with the White Sox, where eight of his nine appearances were as a starter.
Fulmer was obviously dejected but far from defeated when sent to Charlotte following a start on May 18 against the Rangers. He still believes in himself as a starter, but his role looks better suited in the bullpen at this point.
Who would you root for in a potential Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (final four college football) matchup?
-- Mike, Warrenville, Ill., @MikeSox56
Thankfully we don't have to worry about such a matchup.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.