White Sox legitimately contemplating sweeping teams – Lineups & Preview 9/18


Sep 17, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Marcus Semien (5) hits a RBI single against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox have a better run differential than the Minnesota Twins by 27 runs. The White Sox actually have a better run differential than five major league teams. If there is one bone I am willing to throw to the “defense and baserunning are the biggest problems with this team” crowd, it’s that maybe screwing up all the time could have something to do with a 22-32 record in one-run games, or an 8-14 mark in extra-innings. Execution becomes more valuable when one run swings the outcome of the entire game.

Now, playing in so many games where one run swings the outcome, that’s all on the offense.

This mid-week series, however, has done a great deal to show that the Twins, close to wrapping up Year 3 in their personal wilderness, are not much farther than a Joe Mauer injury away from the White Sox. And when they spend three games where Mike Pelfrey is the only starter they can toss out that hasn’t been optioned at some point this season, they can wind up looking a fair bit worse.

When they are not stringing together multi-error innings, the White Sox can typically be counted on to keep the score respectable. When the Twins struggle, the statistical line begins to look garish.

White Sox lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza – CF
2. Alexei Ramirez – SS
3. Dayan Viciedo – LF
4. Paul Konerko – 1B
5. Adam Dunn – DH
6. Marcus Semien – 3B
7. Jordan Danks – RF
8. Josh Phegley – C
9. Leury Garcia – 2B

John Danks, SP

John Danks is actually someone capable of making things appear appropriately brutal and last place-quality, since he’s allowed 15 earned runs over 14.1 innings over his last three starts, backed by 27 hits and five home runs. Danks is somehow fifth in the American League in home runs allowed despite having barely broken the 130 innings threshold.  He was a candidate to be shut down for the year, but lost out to Hector Santiago, which is fitting, since Danks has lost three-straight decisions.

Not to pile on the man, who is obviously dealing with diminished tools and executing this plan to pound the strike zone, come what may, even as “what may” reveals itself to be hell on wheels. But he’s been a real negative lately.

Minnesota Twins lineup:

1. Alex Presley – CF
2. Brian Dozier – 2B
3. Trevor Plouffe – 3B
4. Oswaldo Arcia – LF
5. Ryan Doumit – DH
6. Chris Colabello – 1B
7. Clete Thomas – RF
8. Eduardo Escobar – SS
9. Eric Fryer – C

Scott Diamond, SP

Oswaldo Arcia has promise, Brian Dozier has some pop, Trevor Plouffe specializes in home runs, as does Chris Colabello. But man, there’s not a lot here at all, and far for me to come across an entire preview dragging down the Twins and being deluded about the White Sox, but at least it’s noticeable that Robin Ventura has taken care to stack lefty-mashers up near the top of the lineup. Provided Danks is going to perform like a major leaguer–not a given–this seem like a good matchup for the White Sox.

That felt weird to say.

Where to Watch: 1:10 pm CT on WGN and apparently not televised in Minnesota?!?!

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan