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White Sox offseason: Pitching will be key in 2013

The Chicago White Sox' strong pitching makes them a contender for the AL Central title in 2013.

David Banks

The Chicago White Sox should contend for the AL Central crown in 2013, and like last season, their success will hinge on the strength of their pitching.

The White Sox signed starting pitchers Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd last month to join Chris Sale in a solid starting rotation, while Addison Reed anchors a bullpen that saved 37 games last season. According to Dan Hayes of Comcast Sports Net Chicago, fellow AL Central general managers have taken notice of Chicago's pitching prowess.

"They're very formidable," Cleveland Indians GM Chris Antonetti said late last week. "I think if you look at the balance on the White Sox roster and the guys they have returning as well as how they performed last year, they're certainly one of the favorites in the division. They have got a very formidable rotation and some quality arms in the bullpen and a lineup that has got a chance to do some damage."

The White Sox held the division lead for much of the 2012 season. But after a 4-11 skid to finish the year, Chicago surrendered the division to the Detroit Tigers, who then marched to the World Series before losing to the San Francisco Giants.

Chris Sale led the pitching staff in Chicago. He finished in the top five in the AL in wins, ERA and WHIP and in the top ten in strikeouts.