White Sox begin life in a frightening, post-deadline hellscape – Lineups & Preview 7/31


Jun 28, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana (62) tosses the ball to first base during the fifth inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians at US Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

One of the worst offenses in the American League failed to trade away any of their well-compensated position players at the trade deadline. This probably should not register as a very big surprise, and yet…

Until the waiver market provides some miracle relief, the White Sox will be playing out the string with more or less the same offense that angrily wrested the controls of the ship away from the pitching staff, charted the course for the above-ground parking complex of a local mall and then slammed that baby home, destroying multiple Hyundai’s.

That’s a disquieting thought for those planning on watching a lot of White Sox baseball over the next two months, but possibly a boon come draft time. This is a team working on a 16-40 stretch after all, and while there may be no catching the Astros, all this misery results in a lot of draft day attention.

On the other hand, freed from the constant tug-and-pull of trade rumors, perhaps this moment allows for the team’s more moody and anxious veterans to loosen up, and stop thinking about relocation, their brutal hatred for apartment renting and the loathsome chore of pretending to be interested in the lives of new teammates. If nothing else, maybe it can get everyone to stop playing defense like they’re defusing a nuclear warhead that’s going to blow in three seconds.

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

In the meantime, I suggest you keep doing what you’ve been doing: squeeze joy out of the pitching staff whenever possible. Quintana’s ERA is down to 3.55 (the lowest it’s been since May 21) after a fabulous month of July that has seen him toss 33.1 innings over five starts, with a 32/8 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 2.41 ERA. Getting mid-rotation production from minor league free agents is how the White Sox convince themselves they’ll never go hungry, even if they refuse to plant crops.

Cleveland Indians Lineup:

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

Corey Kluber, SP

Speaking of decent starters coming from nowhere, 27 year-old Corey Kluber has struck out 104 batters in 106 innings despite being a guy who arrived in Triple-A in 2010 and milled around there until the second half of last season. He’s remained strangely hittable, throughout (106 hits, a 3.74 ERA that isn’t abundantly special in Cleveland’s ballpark), but is without a doubt a key cog in the Indians remaining on the Tigers doorstep this far into the season.

If you’ll notice, the Indians are featuring their “no outfields hits” defensive alignment.

Where to Watch: CSN in Chicago, SportsTime Ohio in Cleveland. Man, I wish our sportschannel names were that folksy.

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan