Opening Day! Game Preview & Lineups - 3/31

Did we spend more time waiting for this opening day than last year? It seems like it. The winter was long and brutal like the season that preceded it. Or it could be that I always think the gap between seasons seems longer than the last time.  In truth the days flipped off of the calendar at a standard rate, and now we all sit on the first of what we hope to be many Chris Sale Days of the year. To be celebrated near-weekly for as far into the future as I care to plan. 

Sale is coming off of a season in which he proved his first year installed as a starter was no fluke. He logged numbers that closely matched his previous season, and in many ways better, including his increased workload of 214 and third innings. He fronts a lineup that looks a bit different than the one he ran into the field with last opening day. The absence of Paul Konerko is the loudest omission, sitting out his first opener in 15 years.  Newcomer Adam Eaton gets his introduction to the South Side faithful, as does Jose Abreu, who will be taking his first major league at-bat in the process. Marcus Semien stands in for an injured Gordon Beckham with hopes of making enough of an impression that people will complain when Gordo gets healthy. Avisail Garcia begins what looks to be a long reign in right field, bridging the gap between the new and the old having spent a couple months feeling out the role last year.

The White Sox went 8-11 last season against the Twins, who are in town to kick off the season, despite outscoring them in their matchups overall. The former part of the statement should be unsurprising to all. When losing 99 games there aren’t going to be a whole lot of teams that come away losers after facing off against the Sox for a handful of games. 

The Twins lineup has seen some turnover of its own. Most newsworthy, Joe Mauer is now officially out from behind the plate to be the full-time first baseman. Good for his health, perhaps bad for the White Sox. Kurt Suzuki has come on to take over main catching duties while Oswaldo Arcia has become the expected everyday right fielder. Jason Kubel makes his return to the Twin Cities as their DH, sparing us all views into the abyss of Ryan Doumit’s eyes. The pitching staff, by far the Twins’ weakest aspect of last season, has seen a near-complete overhaul. Ricky Nolasco, Kevin Correia, and Phil Hughes join Mike Pelfrey and Kyle Gibson in the rotation. Nolasco is the “ace” of this group, and it so happens that he was a member of the only team to come away empty handed against the 2013 Pale Hose, Miami’s Marlins.  It’s still probably a solid upgrade from last year’s opening day starter of Vance Worley who is currently wandering around somewhere in the Pirates minor league system.


Today’s Lineup:

  1. Adam Eaton - CF
  2. Marcus Semien - 2B
  3. Conor Gillaspie - 3B
  4. Jose Abreu - 1B
  5. Adam Dunn - DH
  6. Avisail Garcia - RF
  7. Alejandro De Aza - LF
  8. Alexei Ramirez - SS
  9. Tyler Flowers - C

Chris Sale - SP


Twins Lineup:

  1. Brian Dozier - 2B
  2. Kurt Suzuki - C
  3. Joe Mauer - 1B
  4. Josh Willingham - LF
  5. Chris Colabello - DH
  6. Trevor Plouffe - 3B
  7. Oswaldo Arcia - RF
  8. Aaron Hicks - CF
  9. Pedro Florimon - SS

Ricky Nolasco - SP


Where to Watch:

Today’s game will be broadcast on CSN and Fox Sports North. 3:10 Central start time.