Old Timers Game – Preview and Lineups 8/23


I don’t know how long I’ve been waiting but it seems like forever. You see it on the calendar before the season and make a mental note but depending on when it falls you’ve half forgotten about it by the time it rolls around. Finally though, finally, finally, finally. Neal Cotts is in the house. Also of note, A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios make their returns to U.S. Cellular Field.

A.J. is bringing with him the bat that we’ve grown used to seeing over his years on the South Side, 2012 excepted. A roughly league average bat from the backstop position, though he has maintained a bit of his power production in the power-friendly ballpark (9 road homeruns, 5 on the road). Considering the void that is the catching position for the White Sox currently, it’s ok to covet that. At least the ball doesn’t just roll to the wall with every pitch. Not most of the time anyway.

Rios departed Chicago having exhibited both hot and cold streaks over the course of the season that averaged out to about middle of the pack. Since arriving in Texas he’s failed to live up to even that so far. After a nice couple of days upon making his debut he’s struggled to gain any consistency. The fact that he’s there to replace a player that is ineligible for basically the rest of the season, the Rangers just have to deal with it.

Certainly not lost in the mix is Chris Sale Day! Sale is coming off of a “poor” outing in Minneapolis that saw him deliver 7 innings of pitching while allowing 3 runs. He faced off against the Rangers in their first series, this one in Arlington, starting the AJ hit-by-pitch game. He went 7 innings allowing 2 runs in that contest.

Martin Perez started out the year in Frisco, graduated to Round Rock, caught a couple looks with the big club as a spot starter and eventually was able to take advantage of the club’s injury issues and has been making regular starts since July. His shining moment was a complete game effort against the Astros a couple of weeks ago, which he followed up with a 7 inning 3-run game against the Mariners in his last start.

Today’s Lineup:

1.De Aza – LF
2.Beckham – 2B
3.Ramirez – SS
4.Konerko – 1B
5.Dunn – DH
6.Garcia – RF
7.Keppinger – 3B
8.Viciedo – LF
9.Phegley – C

Texas Rangers Lineup:

1.Leonys Martin – CF
2.Elvis Andrus – SS
3.Ian Kinsler – 2B
4.Adrian Beltre – 3B
5.A.J. Pierzynski – C
6.Alex Rios – RF
7.Jeff Baker – 1B
8.Craig Gentry – LF
9.Adam Rosales – DH

Wow the Rangers offense is hurting a bit worse than I had thought. Jeff Baker is having a career year and thus makes the lineup look worse by name recognition standards than it actually is, but when you’re an American League team batting your DH 9th and his name is Adam Rosales there is plenty of room for concern. And what would Elvis Night be without Elvis Andrus in the lineup?

Where to Watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on WCIU, TXA-21 (whatever that is) and MLB Network for some people too. 7:10 Central start time.