Dylan Cease was in high type, pitching into the seventh inning.
Andrew Vaughn delivered the large hit, driving in two runs with a ninth-inning double.
Just about all the things went proper for the Chicago White Sox on opening day in a 3-2 victory towards the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
It turned out to be the workforce’s solely day above .500 all 12 months.
The Sox wrap up one of many worst seasons in franchise historical past towards the San Diego Padres on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field. They entered Saturday needing to win their closing two video games to keep away from 100 losses. They’ve solely had 4 100-loss seasons — 1932, 1948, 1970 and 2018.
The Sox have lots to work of labor forward. Here are three offseason questions.
1. What’s the plan for Tim Anderson and Liam Hendriks?
Anderson gained a batting title in 2019, his first of 4 straight seasons hitting above .300.
The shortstop earned All-Star picks in 2021-22 and was voted a starter within the occasion final season. But he by no means constantly discovered a rhythm on the plate this season after getting back from left knee damage in May and was hitting .245 coming into Saturday.
The Sox need to resolve in the event that they’re going to choose up Anderson’s $14 million membership choice for 2024. If the choice is declined, Anderson will obtain a $1 million buyout.
“He’s meant so much to this organization,” normal supervisor Chris Getz mentioned Tuesday. “He’s been an impactful player for this ballclub. We’re going to have discussions on the best step forward for the White Sox. Whether that be TA playing shortstop for us or not, yeah, there’s an option there that needs to be discussed, and it deserves an exhaustive discussion just because of what he’s meant to this organization.”
The Sox even have a $15 million membership choice or $15 million buyout in 2024 for Hendriks, who made 5 reduction appearances in 2023 after an inspirational return from battling stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier than present process season-ending Tommy John surgical procedure in August. Hendriks was an All-Star with the Sox in 2021-22.
“Liam’s doing well with his rehab, and obviously it’s been a long year for him,” Getz mentioned. “But he’s in the clubhouse bouncing around with good spirits. We’ll get to that decision soon.”
If the membership choice is declined, the buyout will likely be paid in 10 equal installments between 2024-33.
2. How is the rotation going to form up?
Michael Kopech referred to his 2023 as a “season full of adversity.”
The right-hander went 5-12 with a 5.43 ERA earlier than present process surgical procedure on Sept. 22 to take away a cyst from his proper knee. He made 26 begins after which three appearances within the bullpen. His closing outing was as an opener.
“There’s many things to take away from this year, patience being one of them,” Kopech mentioned Thursday. “Just not getting too far forward of your self, and there’s instances after I can look again after I was wanting forward of outcomes as a substitute of within the current second and attacking every day, every hitter, every pitch. It’s one thing I do know already however to place in observe is much more severe and deliberate work. Overall I’ve to be ready daily.
“The short stint in the bullpen reminded me of that.”
Kopech mentioned the surgical procedure shouldn’t have an effect on his offseason as he seems for a bounce-back season within the rotation.
Cease, who was talked about in commerce hypothesis close to the Aug. 1 deadline, carried out effectively down the stretch. Saturday’s starter, Mike Clevinger, who has a mutual choice for 2024, had the sixth-lowest ERA (2.73) within the majors since June 1. Touki Toussaint and Jesse Scholtens rounded out the rotation after the workforce dealt Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn to the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers, respectively.
Getz mentioned it’s “a little early to comment” on what the rotation will appear to be in 2024.
“We know the players to expect back here and we know the good group of pitchers that are in our system, but we’ve got some work to do,” he mentioned. “That’s certainly an area that needs to be addressed, and we like a lot of the arms we have and we like a lot of arms coming through our system and we’ll learn more about what we need to do in the coming weeks to set up for the offseason.”
3. What’s forward at second base, middle discipline and catcher?
The Sox started the season with Elvis Andrus at second and Yasmani Grandal behind the plate.
Both will likely be free brokers.
Korey Lee, acquired from the Houston Astros close to the commerce deadline, has carried out a bulk of the catching down the stretch. He has displayed a powerful arm however has 5 hits in 65 at-bats. The focus has been on Lee’s work with the pitching workers.
As for assessing second base in 2023, supervisor Pedro Grifol mentioned Saturday that “our second base for the most part has been Elvis, he’ll be a free agent and that’s going to be a decision that Chris and his staff, all of us will get together to see which direction we want to go in there (at second).”
The Sox even have choices to make in proper discipline. Oscar Colás performed probably the most video games on the place this season. But the rookie slashed .216/.257/.314 in 75 video games and completed the 12 months within the minors.
“Oscar’s going to have the ability to compete for a spot on our major-league club,” Getz mentioned. “We know he’s capable of doing more. Nothing’s going to be handed to Oscar Colás moving forward. He needs to go out there and have a great offseason. We’ll see what he looks like come spring training.”
There will likely be lots to observe throughout the board between now and the spring.
“I feel extremely confident in what Chris and his staff are doing and are going to do,” Grifol mentioned.