The Chicago White Sox are one of the American League’s best teams, with an 83-61 record and a rock-solid plus-140 run differential.
They have a 12.5-game advantage over the second-placed team in the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians, and ran away with the division a long time ago.
The big test, however, will come in the postseason.
Chicago will have to face one or some of the following teams: the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, or the Houston Astros.
To do that and have a fighting chance, they need to be healthy.
Chicago Has Been Welcoming Players Back From The IL
Thankfully, they have been getting soldiers back just in time for the postseason.
Eloy Jimenez, who injured his pectoral muscle late in spring training, returned a few weeks ago, just in time to get important at-bats as a tune-up for the playoffs.
Luis Robert, who injured his hip early in the season, is also back with the big league team, and remains a crucial piece going forward as a five-tool player capable of impacting games with his bat, power, legs, glove, and arm.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 15, 2021
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 14, 2021
Giolito and Anderson are extremely important performers on the 2021 White Sox.
The latter is the heart and soul of the clubhouse and a valued member of the lineup.
Anderson is slashing .301/.329/.455 with 14 home runs and 17 steals, while Giolito has a 3.77 ERA in 162.1 innings.
In addition to them, Chicago recently recovered star catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Grandal is having a fantastic season even if his .237 batting average is low at first sight.
He has a .418 OBP, a .526 slugging percentage (the second-best in the team after Robert), and has 20 home runs despite missing several weeks with a knee issue.
A Scary Lineup
The White Sox’s lineup is a much better unit when Grandal, Anderson, Jimenez, and Robert are healthy and firing on all cylinders, just like the rotation is a very good unit with Giolito.
In any case, the quality of the players returning in recent days is considerable, and invites fans to dream about the team making a deep playoff run and, why not, winning its first World Series title since 2005.
Tampa Bay is currently the team to beat in the junior circuit, and the White Sox may have a shot at winning a short series against them but only if they can count on their sluggers and their three aces being healthy and effective.
Tepera’s injury is untimely, but the White Sox may still have the bullpen depth and quality to survive without him.
Gavin Sheets doesn’t have a particularly high batting average, but his power makes his offensive output similar to Vaughn’s at this point of their careers, even if the latter has much more potential.
All things considered, Chicago remains a top contender in the AL.