What hijinks will this last-place team get into today? – Lineups & Preview 6/29


After a full day and well over eight hours of mischief, losing and driving Hawk Harrelson to madness, what will those crazy White Sox scamps get into today? They threw us all for a loop on Friday by going against type and losing in torturous, run-soaked marathons.

Maybe it’s a new leaf they can continue, since they are rolling out Dylan Axelrod on Saturday. The Axe has had quite a month of June. In four starts, he’s made it through six innings just once and failed to get out of the fifth inning twice. In 20 innings, he’s allowed 34 hits and opponents have a .386/.455/.659 batting line against him. He’s struck out 12, but also walked 11 and allowed six home runs. It is a miracle that his ERA has only been 6.30 this month.

Simon Castro, the disappointing centerpiece of the Carlos Quentin trade, has been recalled to replace Brian Omogrosso in the bullpen after his most recent shellacking. After looking good in Spring Training, Castro has struggled with his control all season, but has looked a bit better (at least control-wise) since the Knights started using him out of the bullpen in the middle of June. The bullpen is a disappointing but foreseeable end for Castro, and the White Sox will probably need to start figuring out replacements.

White Sox Lineup

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

Dylan Axelrod, SP

Dayan is out of the doghouse after getting yanked from the first game of the doubleheader for running the bases like he was taking out the trash, but before anyone starts feeling good about him: 

With Konerko on the shelf and no more extra players to work with now that Brent Morel has been sent down, filling out the lineup card can not have been fun for Ventura, who has decided to bank hard on Jeff Keppinger’s recent hot streak. Keppinger’s OPS is over .800 for the month, but in the last six games in particular he’s been reaching base at a 60% rate.

Cleveland Indians lineup

1. Michael Bourn – CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
3. Jason Kipnis – 2B
4. Nick Swisher – DH
5. Michael Brantley – LF
6. Carlos Santana – C
7. Jason Giambi – 1B
8. Lonnie Chisenhall – 3B
9. Drew Stubbs – RF

Ubaldo Jimenez, SP

Jimenez is still walking the park around and has not suddenly reclaimed any velocity, but has staved off being chased from the town with pitchforks by reclaiming his old strikeout rate. His changeup and slider have been newly effective in generating whiffs this season, and while he hasn’t seen the end of the sixth inning since June 1, he’s not the guaranteed implosion he was for the previous two years. He’s still bad, yes, but bad enough to get kicked out of the Indians rotation is a different matter.

Then again, the Sox are starting Axelrod. Then again, the Sox are 13 games under .500.

Where to Watch: WGN

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan