#HUGALERT – Lineups & Preview 7/26


Jul 7, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez (10) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this game doesn’t matter.

Alright, alright, alright let’s digress from such a negative starting position. The White Sox–out of contention and comfortable with it–and the Kansas City Royals–not really going to contend but haven’t figured out how to break it to their parents yet–are better served hawking their wares to the masses than…well, I’m not sure what else there is to do.

It’s always fun to take the playoff hopes of a fellow AL Central striver and stomp into dust, but the Royals are three games under .500 with a negative run differential. The point has been made. James Shields did not turn them into a contender overnight. They are sorry for overreaching. In their defense, the White Sox were also kind of overconfident when they assumed they would not be terrible this season.

White Sox lineup

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

Jose Quintana, SP

Notice the splits!

Batters 1-3: TRADE BAIT

4-5: Old & slow sluggers who don’t slug like they used to.

6-9: More or less the future. Yes, even Dayan.

Gordon Beckham is back in the lineup after being out since last Saturday with another flare-up of his wrist injury. He seemed ticketed for the disabled list as recently as three days ago, but recent batting practice sessions proved encouraging enough for him to return. In a season like this, battling against a nagging injury is probably ill-advised, but I’d say Beckham has at least one more flare-up and another month before “Whyyy??” becomes an appropriate response to news of him fighting off a DL stint.

On the other hand, we’re just three healthy games from complaining about him not being higher in the batting order.

Kansas City Royals Lineup

1. Alex Gordon – LF
2. Eric Hosmer – 1B
3. Billy Butler – DH
4. Salvador Perez – C
5. Lorenzo Cain – CF
6. Mike Moustakas – 3B
7. Miguel Tejada – 2B
8. David Lough – RF
9. Alcides Escobar – LF

James Shields, SP

Disappointment looms around every corner for the Royals offense–I bet you’re not aware of how bad of a year Salvador Perez is having!–but Eric Hosmer is looking like the man Hawk Harrelson feared he might become. Since June 1, Hosmer is hitting .311/.351/.532 over 205 plate appearances. He hit two opposite-field home runs on Wednesday night and is still only 23 years old.

Where to Watch: CSN in Chicago, whatever the hell Fox Sports – Kansas City in…you know, Kansas City.

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan