It does not take a great deal of effort to display how Gavin Floyd has been an acceptable American League starter over his tenure on the South Side. In fact, we could even whip something up in a few minutes on Microsoft Excel:
The late aughts were clearly better times, and it’s not as though spending $9.5 million for Floyd to try reproduce his last two years of average results will be the greatest value ever, but the bluster around Floyd clearly outstrips the actual offensiveness of his earned run totals. Todd Ritchie, he is not.
I am as disappointed that Gavin has not become more by age 30 as anyone, so the ire toward Floyd makes sense if it’s the product of disillusionment. Especially for a fan base that spent a decade talking itself into Mark Buehrle‘s Hall of Fame viability, an underwhelming arm that succeeds on grit and guile is easier to appreciate than someone who seems to be less than his physical tools and pedigree would suggest (Even if that’s inaccurate, since players who can be league-average starters for five years and counting are rarer than we realize).
Wednesday night saw Floyd snapping his curve at will, staked to a 1-0 lead against a top team in the league and looking capable of making it stand up. Then reality set in, and the bitterness that comes with it.
Konerko, predictably deep in thought
Christina Kahrl’s must-read profile of Paul Konerko has a larger point about how it is lazy analysis to expect every player’s production to fit into a prototypical aging curve, but the main benefit might be to listen to Konerko speak. For as much as “small sample size” has become a regularly used phrase, Konerko’s self-analysis still comes off as uniquely and impeccably long-term in its view. Whether it’s shifting his goal in an at-bat to working the count after he falls behind, seeing strikeouts as indicative of a better swing path than one that produces weak contact, or seeing his three-year run as the product of steps he took to improve his conditioning and preparation as far back as 2008, Konerko is consistently a step beyond where one would begin their search for causes to the effects he’s seen.
The natural reaction to this piece will be to think that Konerko would make a hell of a manager, and I can see that, but it also seems like he’d be a top-notch shift manager at Chicago Sports Depot.
After a day of icing and imbibing anti-inflammatories, Gordon reported little improvement in the “nerve irritation” in his left wrist on Wednesday. Here’s him, reporting little improvement.
“I actually woke up this morning, and it didn’t feel much better,” Beckham said. “Obviously we’re taking anti-inflammatories and doing a lot of work in there. It feels better since I woke up, but I think tomorrow will be the big test.
“If I wake up, and it feels better, I think it’ll be fine. If not, we’ll probably have to do an MRI or something. I’m actually happy about the way I’ve felt since I’ve gotten to the field and done some work to it. That’s a positive thing, and hopefully tomorrow it’ll be that much better, and then best-case scenario is probably Friday, I hope, but I don’t know how it’s going to respond.”
Scott Merkin’s piece went on to stipulate that Beckham won’t even pick up a bat, let alone swing one until Friday under the best circumstances. Nothing about the past two years plus of injury updates suggests “second basemen has strange, vague injury, tries it out two days later and plays the same night” is a likely resolution, but we can hope for the best.
John Danks qualifies in this category for the moment and hit 89 mph with his fastball during extended spring training work Wednesday night. That velocity still isn’t good and isn’t normal Danks, but better than before, especially with a 70-pitch total. The direction is what is important.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan