Can a team have a successful season without making the playoffs? In my opinion, not really. The Chicago White Sox spent over 100 days in first place, and ended up finishing in second place in 2012 missing the playoffs by three games. Young players were able to develop in 2012 and be successful, but the bottom line is that the White Sox missed the playoffs in 2012 after a late season collapse. True, the team did not have high expectations going into the season, but expectations change when you are playing as well as the White Sox did for the majority of 2012 and in my opinion they did not live up to expectations in 2012.
Pitchers- Health was an issue for the Chicago White Sox rotation in 2012 as 12 different pitchers started games. It seemed to not matter who was on the bump early in the season as the White Sox were rolling. Jake Peavy finally performed up to expectations in 2012 as he was the workhorse of the staff starting 32 games. Peavy was brilliant with a 3.37 ERA and led the team in strikeouts with 194 in 219 innings. The real story of the year was how amazing Chris Sale performed. Sale was a Cy Young candidate until a late season collapse. In my opinion, Sale got tired as he had never thrown near as many innings as he did in 2012. Sale led the White Sox in wins with 17. Sale was so impressive in 2012 that he made his first all star game, representing the White Sox in Kansas City. Jose Quintana was also a great surprise for the White Sox in 2012. As a rookie, Quintana started 22 games and ended the season with 6 wins with a 3.76 ERA. The biggest highlight of the year came on April 21 when Philip Humber pitched the third perfect game in White Sox history against the Seattle Mariners. The closer was an issue in 2012, as rookie Hector Santiago started the season as the closer. After Santiago's struggles early, rookie Addison Reed took over the closer role for the White Sox converting 29 saves.
Infielders- A.J. Pierzynski was a beast behind the plate in 2012 hitting a career high in home runs with 27. Not only did Pierzynski have a career year at the plate, he was also a Rawling's Gold Glove finalist in the American League. Pierzynski was the most consistent player in 2012 for the White Sox and enough can't be said of what Pierzynski meant to the White Sox in 2012. Paul Konerko had a great first half of the season batting .329 with 14 home runs before the All-Star Break. He did not have the greatest second half as he batted .263 after the All-Star Break. Konerko has been the rock in the middle of the line up for the Sox for the past decade and it was hard to see him struggle so much in the second half of 2012. Adam Dunn was back to being himself in 2012. Dunn led the White Sox with 41 home runs and walks with 105. One stat that Dunn can't be proud of is his 222 strike outs. Gordon Beckham has still not been able to put it together at the plate, but in the field, Beckham has been great.
Outfielders- Alex Rios was moved to right field in the off-season and this proved to be essential in what the White Sox accomplished in 2012. Rios was more comfortable in right field and that translated to career numbers at the dish for Rios. Rios batted .304 with 25 home runs and 91 runs batted in. Rios also played better defense in 2012 for the White Sox. After being moved around every season, Dayan Viciedo found a home in left field in 2012 for the White Sox. Viciedo had his struggles defensively at times, but the real production came at the plate. Viciedo hit 25 home runs with 78 runs batted in. Center fielder Alejandro De Aza was great in 2012 batting .281 in the lead off spot for the White Sox. De Aza led the White Sox with 26 stolen bases.
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