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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.

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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.

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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.

Top 5 Overall Right Fielders – Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide 2009

This ties in with arm strength, but could take longer to get back than his velocity. If Peavy’s arm is tiring after three or four innings going at full speed ahead (which, let’s be honest, is the only speed for him), then obviously he’ll need some time after the season starts to regain that stamina. If i had to guess, stamina would be the main reason why Peavy won’t be in the White Sox’s starting rotation in April-it’ll be the reason why he won’t be 100 percent until, say, early May.

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.

American League Cy Young Award – Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox. I may have been one year too early in predicting John Lester would win this award last year. Then again, if Lester hadn’t gotten off to such a bad start last year (1-2, 4.71 ERA in April), his stats would’ve looked even better than his impressive final stat line of 19-9, 3.20 ERA. If Lester can get off to a fast start for a change (4.58 career ERA in April), anywhere between 20-23 wins is a possibility considering the revamped Red Sox lineup, the speedy outfield, and the improved (at least on paper) bullpen.

My research came up with interesting managerial facts. In 2006, sale jerseys manager Ozzie Gillen sent a young pitcher back to the minor leagues because he failed to properly retaliate after the Texas Ranger pitcher had twice hit Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

Between 2006 and 2009, he played with the Tigers and A’s before spending two seasons in Japan. He posted records of 15-8 and 11-9 with Hiroshima of the Japan Central League.

Danks’ located his fastball with perfection, keeping it down in the zone and right on the corners of the strike zone. His cutter jammed Twins hitters all day, and his changeup and curveball kept them off-balance. Under the circumstances, it was the best outing of Danks’ career without a doubt.

The promotion to Birmingham coincided with what appears to be some BABIP luck, as the soon-to-be 24-year-old Leesman’s opponent BABIP sat at .266 with the Barons. That BABIP-along with his 1 percent HR/fly ball rate-should be expected to regress in 2011, so unless he make some improvements as a pitcher, his results won’t be as good as they were in Birmingham. That being said, he’s one of the more intriguing pitchers of this group (given that he at least has a sliver of upside), so if the Sox were to take a chance with him for some April starts I’d personally be more interested than any of the other options.