White Sox will have youth waiting in the wings

White Sox will have youth waiting in the wings

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The questions regarding the White Sox 2017 Opening Day roster center upon who won't be there as much who will break camp with the team.

Jose Quintana and David Robertson? Both in the house, with no trades apparently in the offing. Todd Frazier, Nate Jones and Jose Abreu? Check for all three veterans as well.

Top prospects such as Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Zack Burdi and Carson Fulmer remain with the team. But none of them figure to end up in Chicago at the end of March.

Moncada's two-homer game

As for June or July? Well, a different tale might be told as the White Sox rebuild progresses.

But the focus is Opening Day. So with two weeks to go in Spring Training, here's the White Sox projected roster.

Bullpen
Robertson (closer)
Jones
Zach Putnam
Jake Petricka
Dan Jennings
Michael Ynoa
Anthony Swarzak

Those last two bullpen arms behind Robertson, Jones, Putnam, Petricka and Jennings present a few choices. Ynoa is out of options and should get the nod after yielding one run over his final 11 1/3 innings last season, while fanning 12.

Ynoa pitches out of trouble

Cory Luebke makes sense in that the White Sox could use a second southpaw, but in season No. 1 of the rebuild, the team might not be worried about matchups. So the final choice goes to Swarzak, who could work in the long-relief role.

Both Luebke and Swarzak need a 40-man roster spot, with the White Sox current roster sitting at 38. So Dylan Covey, a Rule 5 Draft selection who the White Sox potentially could lose, also remains in play, as do Tommy Kahnle and Juan Minaya.

Bench
Geovany Soto
Yolmer Sanchez
Leury Garcia
Cody Asche

Soto, Sanchez and Garcia have a chance to be in the Opening Day starting lineup depending on how manager Rick Renteria wants to align things. Asche has worked his way into the White Sox thought process, possibly even becoming a trade candidate if he does well at the season's outset.

Lineup
1. Tim Anderson, SS
2. Melky Cabrera, LF
3. Abreu, 1B
4. Frazier, 3B
5. Matt Davidson, DH
6. Avisail Garcia, RF
7. Tyler Saladino, 2B
8. Omar Narvaez, C
9. Peter Bourjos, CF

This lineup certainly could shift a bit. The White Sox remain confident in Davidson's swing adjustments and overhaul, but his Cactus League contact issues could lead Renteria to use Asche at DH or move Cabrera there and put Leury Garcia in the outfield with Davidson in reserve.

Davidson's RBI single

Jacob May is an interesting case in that he could move into the starting center-field slot due to Charlie Tilson's right foot stress reaction eventually sending him to the disabled list, making Bourjos an important piece in reserve. May has Major League level defensive and baserunning skills, but the White Sox won't want him up if he's not playing regularly.

Remember again, the White Sox 40-man is at 38. Soto, Bourjos, Asche, Swarzak and/or Luebke would need spots.

Rotation
Quintana
Miguel Gonzalez
Derek Holland
James Shields
Carlos Rodon

Rodon certainly doesn't rank as the fifth starter in this rotation. With his gradual spring work build-up, let's say he will be starting the fifth game. Otherwise, this rotation is set.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.