This time last year Jeremy Guthrie was preparing to make his Colorado Rockies debut after being traded from the Orioles for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom. Yes, that Matt Lindstrom. It started off well enough, he went 7 innings in his first game for the Rockies, allowing just 4 hits and 3 earned runs. From there it was pretty downhill. Strikeouts aren’t really his thing, and when the park wasn’t pitcher friendly, neither were his results. Such a formula doesn’t bode well when Coors Field is your home park. About a week before the trade deadline the Rox moved him to the Royals for Jonathon Sanchez, who failed to be the rotation savior that Dayton Moore and Co. had hoped for (hmmm…). It took him a few starts to get his bearings, but then he faced the White Sox in August where he threw 7 innings of shutout ball (he would allow a single earned run in 29.2 innings against the Sox for the remainder of the year). It kick started his season and he parlayed that into a 3 year $25M contract. I share all this with you not because I’m particularly enamored with Mr. Guthrie, but if the White Sox could inspire all sorts of good feelings and confidence in him before, they really should make a point of making him miserable now. Got to stay balanced, no?
Gavin Floyd, who had a better season than Guthrie in 2012 and now has $9M coming to him this year as proof, will make his first start of the year. Floyd, forever the enigma, had a rough spring and gave out runs rather freely. He also struck out batters at a higher rate than his career norm, which has stayed incredibly consistent over the past 4 seasons. He’s our league average guy. Inconsistent from start to start, consistent over a long enough timeline. I’ll ask for the first time in 2013: Which Gavin will we get today?
1. De Aza – CF
2. Keppinger – 3B
3. Rios – RF
4. Dunn – DH
5. Konerko – 1B
6. Dayan – LF
7. Alexei – SS
8. Tyler “a HR a Day keeps the AJ’s away” Flowers – C
9. Beckham – 2B
A HR based offense is expected in US Cellular Field, a park that lead the American League in HR a season ago. 5 dingers accounting for all 6 runs so far is a bit extreme, but it’s cold out. The ball doesn’t carry well in these conditions so serious credit should be given to the solid contact necessary to get that sort of thing done. Also would be great if they’d think about something other than solo homeruns. The lineup remains the same, and if the method of scoring does as well, I’m fine with it.
Ned Yost has opted to go with the left handed bat in Jarrod Dyson over Lorenzo Cain in center field today. Otherwise the lineup is the same. With only 2 runs on the season to this point there will be a lot more shuffling going on if there isn’t some production soon. Save it for the weekend, I say. A sweep of the Royals would not only push the White Sox record to 3-0, but would also relieve us all from having to hear excessive moaning about how the team can’t beat Kansas City.
While I’ll probably feel the need to put sample size disclaimers on every pitcher/batter matchup if I should mention one, it’s worth noting that Billy Butler, who has faced Floyd 42 times has never left the yard and slugs just .225 in those appearances.
Where to Watch
Game available on WGN for Chicago and beyond. Kansas City area viewers can tune in at Fox Sports KC. 1:10 Central start time.