Terry Francona impressed by White Sox lineup: ‘It looks a lot thicker’

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When Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona received his copy of the White Sox lineup Monday, he couldn't help but be a little awestruck.

"I'm looking at it today and I'm like, 'Whoa,'" Francona told reporters on a pregame Zoom session.

And the lineup didn't even include left fielder Eloy Jimenez, who is day-to-day after crashing into the outfield wall Sunday.

"You know, their lineup looks a lot thicker," Francona said. "They added some big veteran bats and they already had some really exciting, not just young players, I mean (Jose) Abreu's been around now for a while, but (Yoan) Moncada and guys are starting to come into their own. I can see why they like what they did. They had played us tough anyway, but their lineup certainly looks a lot deeper."

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That was proven over the weekend as they White Sox scored 17 runs in their opening three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, the Twins scored 27 runs as the White Sox lost two of three games.

Certainly taking notice are the Indians, who will host the White Sox three times over the next two days after Monday's game was rained out. Most believe the American League Central will come down to these three teams, but while offense should be strength for the Twins and White Sox, the Indians will mostly rely on pitching.

Monday, Francona was asked if he felt like the rest of the league is moving towards an emphasis on hitting home runs. The Twins and White Sox both hit seven home runs as a team over the weekend, while the Indians only managed two.

"I think it's different. I think you kind of play to your team," Francona said. "There's usually one team every year that kind of goes out to try to make a splash. That happens. But there's other teams that think they can do it with speed. I think you kind of try to play to your team's strengths. I think it's different everywhere. Who's available, what's the price, does it fit into what you're looking at for your team? Things like that."

For the White Sox, catcher Yasmani Grandal and designated hitter Edwin Encarnación were available and made sense to add to a lineup of budding superstars like Moncada, Jiménez and rookie Luis Robert. Suddenly, it looks a lot different.

And the rest of the league is noticing.

 

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Terry Francona impressed by White Sox lineup: It looks a lot thicker originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago