Mercy? – Lineups 6/17


Assume, if you will, that reincarnation is real and that you, the reader, committed unspeakable acts in a previous life. I don’t know which part of that is a stretch for you, but I know which part is for me.

Under this premise, the 2013 White Sox offense is a relatively light punishment. Something you love and put untold amounts of emotional investment in has betrayed you. Something you allowed yourself such hopes for has immediately rotted and died on the vine. Oh well. It is still summer. At the ballpark, beer is still sold.

After all, you’re not paying for this team…well, actually in several ways you are. Sorry I brought that up.

Today’s Lineup:

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

The White Sox have reached a point where I am looking for reasons that they might be able to scrounge up a source of advantage against the mighty, mighty Astros (still owners of the worst run differential in Major League Baseball), but the good news is that I might have actually found one.

Astros starter Bud Norris is having himself a fine start to the season–maybe even his best yet–results-wise. With 83 innings at a 3.47 ERA, Norris has wrested away notion of former White Sox farmhand Lucas Harrell being the staff ace for the moment. But of all three true results (strikeout, walk, home run), the one where the bat meets the ball is to be trusted the least. Norris’ slight reduction in his walk rate is commendable, his departure from the realm of pitchers who can post an above-average strikeout rate looks very real. But his sudden ability to halve his notoriously troublesome home run rate is probably baloney, since there’s no new ability to generate groundballs or pop-ups behind it.

There once was a time where the White Sox were notorious for their predilection for clubbing home runs. “TOO MANY!” the people would cry. That–along with any notions of producing hard contact on a baseball–has falled by the wayside in recent weeks, but now is the best time ever for such hopes to rise again. Adam Dunn can still hit home runs at least, I hear.

By the way, not to get into a long critique at how the deck chairs are laid out, but Dayan Viciedo clubbed two balls at warning track distance in center field on Sunday–albeit against a left-hander–and got dropped two spots in the order. Gordon Beckham has a .377 OBP in limited playing time this season and is being stashed at the No. 8 slot until he can prove it’s real. Sometimes, it seems like the White Sox aren’t aware that the top and middle of their batting order is a chemical refinery plant fire.

Houston Astros Lineup:

1. Brandon Barnes – CF
2. Jose Altuve – 2B
3. Jason Castro – C
4. J.D. Martinez – LF
5. Chris Carter – DH
6. Carlos Pena – 1B
7. Roger Cedeno – SS
8. Matt Dominguez – 3B
9. Trevor Crowe – RF

One day White Sox starter Jose Quintana is rolling, the next day he’s getting roughed up and struggling to keep the ball in the yard. It’s like he’s some sort of developing 24 year-old starter who’s still figuring his game out after making a huge leap last season.

Where to Watch: CSN

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan