May 9, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) reacts to the first base umpire Mike Everitt (43) as he was called for a balk during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last place teams battle to the death - Lineups 6/10


Can the White Sox offense hit a knuckleball?

It sounds like a bizarre mid-season episode for our crew of troubled anti-heroes; something outside the primary plot arc that has to result in the death of an ancillary cast member just to convey some degree of seriousness to the viewing audience. Stay safe out there, Jordan Danks.

There are some caveats, though.

  • Unlike most teams on action/adventure television, the White Sox actually don’t come through in the end most of the time, hence their 27-34 record.
  • The White Sox faced R.A. Dickey earlier this season and despite his season-long struggles, the aging trickster was shutting the Sox out over six innings (on just 64 pitches!) when he left with an oblique injury.
Both division cellar-dwellers are currently trying convince themselves that things are different now. The White Sox just took back-to-back games over the Oakland A’s where they scored four–FOUR!!!–runs on consecutive days. The Blue Jays have basically played .500 ball (17-18) since their disastrous 10-17 April and are slowly but surely getting healthier, even if they’re still starting Munenori Kawasaki a lot.
White Sox lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza – CF
2. Alexei Ramirez – SS
3. Alex Rios – RF
4. Paul Konerko – 1B
5. Adam Dunn – DH
6. Dayan Viciedo – LF
7. Jeff Keppinger – 3B
8. Gordon Beckham – 2B
9. Hector Gimenez – C

Dylan Axelrod, SP

One wonders if Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn have ever pondered the meaning or purpose behind their constant flip-flopping in the batting order. Is it a daily assessment of their individual worth? Is it a reflection of how they are living their lives? Is it set not by Ventura but by larger, unseen forces?

Dayan Viciedo is playing despite hitting .117/.129/.167 since May 20, but Conor Gillaspie is sitting against a right-hander after hitting .210/.279/.280 since May 1. These are the decisions Robin gets to play around with on a daily basis.

Tyler Flowers is sitting after hitting back-to-back home runs, but he’s a huge guy who catches and has back problems, so his days off are rarely worth questioning.

Blue Jays lineup

1. Melky Cabrera – LF
2. Jose Bautista – RF
3. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B
4. Adam Lind – DH
5.  Colby Rasmus – CF
6. Josh Thole – C
7. Maicer Itzuris – 3B
8. Emilio Bonifacio – 2B
9. Munenori Kawasaki – SS

R.A. Dickey, SP

The bottom half of the Blue Jays order is liquified awful and reflects the possible pitfalls of the ‘Stars & Scrubs’ approach the Blue Jays employed a bit in constructing this year’s team. Yet it’s better than the ‘Scrubs & Alex Rios’ approach has worked out so far.

Dylan Axelrod hopes to keep it going, his strange, soft-tossing, no out-pitch-having magic.

Where to Watch: CSN+ because apparently this doesn’t have the luster of a Cubs-Reds game. Channel Finder link.

 

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan

Tags: Chicago White Sox Dylan Axelrod R.a. Dickey