May 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Ernesto Frieri (49) is congratulated by center fielder Mike Trout (27) for a victory against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at U.S. Cellular Field. The Angels beat the White Sox 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
34 games into the season and still last in the American League in runs per game despite playing in a concrete grain silo, the White Sox are a team that could afford to explore some ways to get more efficient with their lineup. And since all but a few elements of the White Sox lineup are somewhat forgettable, interchangeable below-average hitters, Robin Ventura can really go full-bore in preparations for a left-handed starter like the Angels’ C.J. Wilson.
And wow, just look at Robin go…
1. Alejandro De Aza – CF
2. Alexei Ramirez – SS
3. Alex Rios – RF
4. Paul Konerko – 1B
5. Dayan Viciedo – DH
6. Jeff Keppinger – 3B
7. Casper Wells – LF
8. Tyler Flowers – C
9. Tyler Greene – 2B
Chris Sale – SP
Sitting an ineffectual Adam Dunn in order to pair lefty-mashers Dayan Viciedo (4-6 with a double and two walks since returning) and Casper Wells in the same lineup is a nifty measure, even if it’s one step closer to acknowledging how rough the last 16+ months of having Dunn on contract are going to be.
Putting out Conor Gillaspie in favor of the right-handed combo of Tyler Greene and “Struggling” Jeff Keppinger is probably less by design and more of a lingering product of Gillaspie’s “upper respiratory issues,” that kept him out Saturday, but it keeps with the theme of the night. For his career, C.J. Wilson is 140 points worse against righties in terms of OPS, and if Robin Ventura has his way, Wilson’s memories of Chicago will be too sorrowful for him to even visit his beloved Mazda dealership.
Los Angeles Angels Who Are Actually Playing in Anaheim But Have a Marketing Department Too Milquetoast to Make a Firm Decision on This I Mean Come On You Don’t See The Detroit Pistons Struggling With This Nonsense
1. Alberto Callaspo – 3B
2. Mike Trout – CF
3. Albert Pujols – 1B
4. Mark Trumbo – LF
5. Josh Hamilton – RF
6. Howie Kendrick – 2B
7. Brendan Harris – SS
8. Chris Iannetta – C
9. Luis Jimenez – DH
C.J. Wilson, SP
I mean seriously, in a state so gleefully in love with delusions about its own identity, why not go with “SoCal Angels” or just anything you could actually put on a shirt?
The Angels changed nothing about their lineup from the previous night besides putting Albert Pujols in the field, which would seem to be an indication that his plantar fascitis and more generalized case of “age-related leg problems” are lessening in their severity. In some bizarre twist, Mike Trout has been eviscerating the White Sox in this series, compiling four hits, knocking in three (including himself once) and scoring twice.
Trout hasn’t been destructive on the bases yet this weekend, but Chris Sale will need to ratchet up his attention to the running game to keep it that way. Baserunners have been successful on all four attempts at stealing against Sale this year and he’s yet to pick anyone off.
Where to Watch: ESPN. The whole nation is watching. Look busy.
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan