Land Mines In Chicago

24. Minnesota Twins – The big question in Minnesota is if Ron Gardenhire will keep his job. It’s unlikely the Twins will show much improvement for another couple of years.

Pierre keyed a 3-run second for Chicago by driving in two with a single.Ramierez followed with an RBI double for a 5-1 edge on the final day of the season.

Texas will try and snap a two-game losing streak after getting hammered 10-0 by the sale jerseys on Sunday as a 115 road favorite. Its lead over the Angels in the AL West is down to just four games as the back-to-back losses to Chicago dropped the Rangers to 73-55 on the year. They are 34-32 on the road and 39-23 at home.

18. Toronto Blue Jays – The blue Jays plan to give it another run with all of the veterans they acquired last offseason, but what other choice do they really have?

When Thome left to go to the rival Twins prior to the 2010 season, General Manager Kenny Williams and Manager Ozzie Guillen decided to use the designated hitter slot as a way to get bench players at bats. Many different players hit in the designated hitter slot for Guillen last season but without the power production they were used to.

Adam Dunn, Gordon Beckham, Brent Morel or Mark Teahen, and Alex Rios were thought to be the guys that would put the southsiders among the best in the American league.

Seeing as both starters have had relative success against either club, it wouldn’t be surprising to the series decided by the bullpen- which on paper Chicago decidedly has the upper hand.

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Pitching came along for the Sox but despite injuries to Jake Peavy and John Danks, they rank 11th in the majors in quality starts and walks and hits per innings pitched and 12th in ERA.

Runners can register in advance for or at the race for . Fundraising is encouraged but not required. Prizes for the top fundraisers include sale jerseys ticket vouchers, autographed baseballs and the chance to walk on the field before game on August 17 for a photo with a current player.

However, the magic or talent has not been the same in 2013. The White Sox are currently at the bottom of the division and not many things are going right. Jake Peavy is injured again, Sale is struggling, and Paul Konerko could be finally showing his age. Then, there is Adam Dunn, with a batting average that is lower than some co-ed league bowling scores.

And for the most bullpen stability, a team needs an anchor in the closer role — and Oakland has that in Andrew Bailey. In his second major-league season, Bailey posted a 1.47 ERA with 25 saves. But he only pitched in 47 games, missing time with injuries — and that threw the whole bullpen out of whack at times.

With a roster spot open, the Sox then called up outfielder Alejandro De Aza. He had an immediate impact with the Sox. In his first at bat of the season, De Aza hit a two-run homerun as the White Sox defeated the Tigers 2-1. John Danks struck out 10 in picking up his 4th win of the season and Santos got his 21st save. With the win, the Sox moved to 51-52, 1 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians and just 3 1/2 behind the Tigers. The Sox now get a day off in preparation for their big weekend series against the A.L. East leading Boston Red Sox. Gavin Floyd (8-9) will face Tim Wakefield (6-3).

McCray, 25, may not have been on the Sox radar at the beginning of the season, but he is off to a 4-1 start with a 2.30 ERA and 1.024 WHIP. He was originally drafted in the 34th round by the “Devil” Rays in 2006 out of high school, in the 50th a year later by the Cardinals and ultimately signed with Chicago when he was taken in the 16th in 2010 from the University of Tennessee.

Granted, Ohman certainly isn’t god-awful against lefties-his 3.84 career FIP vs. LH tells us that. And saying he’s superfluous to the roster is a bit of an overstatement; I’d rather have him on the roster than Williams or, say, Anthony Carter. A mediocre right-handed free agent reliever may have been a better addition to the team, but hey, if Will Ohman is the most questionable move Kenny Williams made this offseason.I’d say that’s a pretty good offseason.

Another guy on the 40-man, another guy without minor league success. The 25-year-old Jones posted a 4.17 FIP in high-A Winston-Salem in 2010. Like the last few pitchers listed, he’s on the 40-man, so I’ll say he gets a shot, but don’t expect him to be much of a factor in this race.

Detroit Tigers Next Opponent The Chicago White Sox By The Numbers

However, Owens didn’t show that ability to get on base in his 2007 stint in the majors (.324 OBP) and in 2008 in the minors (.346 OPB). Castillo’s OBPs in the minors: .371, .419, .411, .425, .403, .471. While it’s tough to expect anyone to match up to those gaudy numbers, the fact that Owens’ career OBP numbers in the minors (.365, .393, .333, .361, .348) struggle to come at least close to those numbers with consistency should have been a red flag for the organization.

Overall, these five players combined for 62% of the relief innings in 2010, but the damage done by other pitchers getting significant action was hard to overcome. Henry Rodriguez (4.55 ERA in 27 2/3 innings), Boof Bonser (5.09, 23), Tyson Ross (5.12, 31.2) and Chad Gaudin (8.83, 17.1) accounted for 23% of the relief innings last season, and when almost a quarter of your bullpen innings are that bad, it makes it hard for a team to stay in games when the offense isn’t playing well.

I’d argue Randy Williams went through stretches like that because he wasn’t very good, but Jim is certainly right that Ohman is actually the fourth-most effective reliever against lefties in the team’s bullpen. His lone job likely will be solely to retire left-handers, and those situations likely will be earlier in games (like, the sixth inning).

In a season filled with ups and downs the Sox have a record of 44-48 are are just five games out of first place. This leaves many to wonder if they can turn it around and also what grade would they get going into the second half of the season?

American League Rookie of the Year – sale jerseys, Chicago White Sox. Let me introduce you to the left-handed version of Daniel Bard. The White Sox 2010 first-round draft pick is 6-foot-6 (but only 180 pounds) and possesses a 99 mph fastball. There was talk of him potentially replacing the departed Bobby Jenks (and current Red Sox) as closer for the White Sox. Manager Ozzie Guillen decided to go with veteran Matt Thornton instead. But the 34-year-old Thornton has struggled with injuries in the past and will be asked to be a full-time closer for the first time in his career. If Thornton gets injured or struggles, watch for Sale to step in.

Chicago was haunted by one of its old pitchers Daniel Hudson in Friday’s Game 1 when he pitched the Diamondbacks to a 4-1 decision over the 121 road underdogs. The loss was the White Sox’s third in-a-row leaving them 5.5 games in back of Cleveland and Detroit in the AL Central with an overall record of 33-38. They are 16-17 at home and 17-21 on the road.

Most run production will come from the 1-5 spots in the lineup. Sure, Juan Pierre could have better on-base skills, but for the team’s roster, he’s the ideal leadoff hitter. If Pierre can replicate his .341 OBP from 2010, he’ll at least be acceptable.

Yankees/red Sox Series Should Be Another One For The Ages

After a stellar 2009 season, Michael Wuertz began the year injured and rarely flashed his previous form. Finishing the year with a 4.31 ERA, Wuertz was often very inconsistent — resulting in a lot of anxious moments. Wuertz still had the ability to strikeout hitters regularly, but his walks were way up.

I do believe that Friday’s game, the next “home” game people will be more interested in the game not only because it’s against the sale jerseys, but also because we’re nearing the end of Spring Training and the rosters should be just about complete. We’ll have a better idea of who will be on the team and what the lineups for the regular season will look like.

With a 6-5 setback to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field keyed by three RBI each from Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez, the Indians ended the season 69-92 to finish 9-9 against Chicago.

Ballplayers should not be able to do on a baseball field what if they did it outside the ballpark could get them arrested. When you throw a ball at someone with the intent to do harm it is the equivalent of Assault and Battery.

Replays on television showed that the ball landed a few rows in fall territory. The umpires working that game didn’t get a chance to see that, though, because of Major League Baseball not having any replay system institutionalized. In the long run the loss didn’t hurt the Tribe. The Indians are headed to the playoffs as AL Central Division champs.

Hitting with runners in scoring position with less than two outs, hitting into a high number of double plays, and not throwing runners out at second are just a few of the simple tasks they struggle with. So far the Sox have beaten themselves in many games, but if a few key players step it up the sky is the limit.

15. Washington Nationals – The Nationals are a better team than they showed for much of the season, but don’t buy into the way they played in September, which featured a lot of games against their terrible division.

Another guy who will get a look just because of his status on the 40-man. Acquired from the Braves in the glorious Scott Linebrink trade this offseason, Cofield hasn’t pitched above double-A in his career. Furthermore, he hasn’t exactly pitched well in double-A, posting a 4.29 FIP with Mississippi in 2010 that hardly inspires confidence.