Bob Foltman on the Sox

SportsBaseballChicago White SoxTimo PerezEsteban LoaizaDamaso MarteSandy Alomar

Do you think the Damaso Marte losing on Opening Day is a sign of things to come from him? --Greg, Chicago

Greg, even though Damaso didn't have much of a spring and the opener was awful, I think it's too early to worry about him. He has a track record now, so I'm more inclined to think the opener was just a bad day.

Welcome! Good luck, pal. What do other teams say about Joe Borchard? I'm starting to doubt our reports, so what do others think? --Cliff Jordan, Chicago

I wish I could help you there but I'm still learning where all the bodies are buried with the Sox. I haven't had a chance yet to talk to other scouts and team execs about Sox players, but hopefully in the next month or so I can get you an answer.

How is it that Sandy Alomar Jr. could not talk his brother into staying at second base with the Sox? --Bob Novak, Sun Lakes, Ariz.

Bob, I'm guessing that Robbie just decided that the money was better in Arizona. I'm not familiar with the negotiations, but they seemed to break down after Alomar thought he deserved more than what the Sox were offering.

Why are so many experts making so much of losing Bartolo Colon (15-13 last season)? If he had been halfway decent over the first 100 games they would not have needed him to be perfect at the end of the season. Don't the Sox have another .500 pitcher in the fold? --Bill Hearl, Damascus, Maryland

Colon may have only been a .500 pitcher record-wise last season, but he pitched better than those numbers indicated. Plus he is the definition of a horse. He had nine complete games last season, almost unheard of today, and it gives the bullpen extra rest, meaning Colon helps on days he doesn't pitch because a more rested bullpen is available. So far, Bill, the starters have gone through their first turn reasonably well. But guys like Colon don't come around very often.

Hey Bob, do you think Aaron Rowand can be a solid center fielder offensively for a whole season? Or will be seeing Timo Perez more than we would like? --Scott, Michigan City, Ind.

Scott, I think Rowand can be above-average offensively all season, but Perez certainly gives them a platoon option if needed.

What do the White Sox see in Scott Schoenweis that nobody else can? --John, Chicago

They see a guy who was basically a two-pitch pitcher in Anaheim with the ability to be a quality starter who can throw four pitches. The jury is still out on him, but his first start in New York was impressive, all things considered.

I was wondering what you think of the Sox's chance for the playoffs. I think that they will get in. --Aaron Leming, Ridgecrest, Calif.

I think, considering their lineup and if the rotation holds up, the Sox should be the favorites to win the AL Central. But they still have to prove it on the field and the last couple seasons they've been unable to do that.

I think the Sox are one big pitcher short of a competitive staff. Can you give me evidence to the contrary? Will someone surprise us this year, like Esteban Loaiza did last year? --John Browning, Flemington, N.J.

John, I think they have three solid starters in Buehrle, Loaiza and Garland, and two question marks in Schoeneweis and Dan Wright. So far, so good on Schoeneweis and there are a lot of teams that search every year for a fifth starter. Is it a dominating rotation? Probably not, but the top end is as good as any in the Central and if Schoeneweis is just slightly better than average, then I think they have a solid chance to win the division and roll the dice in the playoffs.

What worries you most about this Sox lineup, and what excites you the most? --Scott Geyer, Chicago

What worries me the most is that the offense will become too one-dimensional like last season. In order for that not to happen, Scott, Willie Harris has to be a quality leadoff man and the bottom of the order--Rowand and Olivo--has to produce. If that happens, then this offense can be exciting. Jon Garland is also someone that may be exciting this season. This could be a breakout year for him.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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SportsBaseballChicago White SoxTimo PerezEsteban LoaizaDamaso MarteSandy Alomar
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