The Chicago White Sox rotation would appear to be mostly set heading into the 2023 season.
Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito, and Michael Kopech are seemingly locked into their roles for the upcoming year. That leaves the fifth starter role open, something that could theoretically be filled internally. The likes of Davis Martin, Sean Burke, and Jonathan Stiever could get a chance at filling out the rotation, especially after Martin had moments when he impressed last year.
Chicago White Sox eyeing former divisional foe
But the White Sox have more in mind. They are looking to come back from a disappointing 2022 campaign that saw their postseason aspirations never truly get off the ground. As such, they have their sights set on a possible upgrade for the back of the rotation as Ken Rosenthal has reported that the White Sox are interested in Mike Clevinger.
His statistics last year are hardly inspiring. Clevinger posted a 4.33 ERA and a 1.198 WHiP over his 114.1 innings, striking out 91 batters with 35 walks. A large portion of that damage was due to his tendency to give up home runs last year as his 1.6 homers per nine innings was easily the worst mark of his career.
But there is reason to hope that Clevinger will improve in 2023. He had undergone Tommy John surgery, wiping out his 2021 campaign. Pitchers typically perform better in that second year back, making Clevinger a possible buy low option in free agency. He could be quite the bargain if he can return to the form he showed from 2017 through 2020.
That would be the White Sox hope. If he does return to form, he would potentially be the best fifth starter in the majors. Add in the relative uncertainty surrounding Giolito’s struggles, Kopech coming off of surgery, and Lynn’s injury battles last year, and the White Sox need another arm. If Clevinger is healthy, he could be exactly what they need to stabilize the rotation.
The Chicago White Sox are reportedly interested in Mike Clevinger. He could be exactly what they need in the back of their rotation.