Chicago White Sox set for 6-game West Coast trip


Aug 6, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton (1) looks at penguin that was brought to the ballpark by the Shedd Aquarium before the game against the Texas Rangers at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

This upcoming Thursday through next Wednesday, the Chicago White Sox will make a West Coast swing with four games in Seattle against the Mariners over the weekend, and two in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Giants.

The White Sox luck out in Seattle, missing Felix Hernandez., however, Jose Quintana will face another tough foe on the mound in Hisashi Iwakuma on Friday night.

Iwakuma has been sharp in ’14, sporting a record on 9-6 and a 2.94 ERA. His WHIP is impressive as well, considering it is below 1.00 at 0.99.

An interesting pitcher to watch over the next few weeks in John Danks. His mound opponent Sunday is TBD, however he needs to start pitching better if the team has any chance of moving him. His ERA has ballooned from 3.99 on July 13 all the way to 4.93 on Aug. 5.

That is not a pitcher that is getting stronger as the season progresses, but weaker. A lot of that is due to the fact that he is throwing more innings than he has since ’11 (170.1 innings), therefore he may be starting to wear down.

Danks  only threw 193.1 innings in ’12 and ’13 combined, however, he has pitched a full season this year. In ’13, Danks threw 138.1 innings, but he didn’t start the season on the active roster due to injury. Now that he is reaching innings that he hasn’t had in a while (140.2), and could reach in the upwards of 180 assuming the White Sox don’t shut him down.

In San Francisco, the White Sox will see Jake Peavy pitch the second of a two-game set. The White Sox will counter with rookie Scott Carroll, who has been serviceable since his call up in late April. The game to watch in San Francisco should be Monday night. That is when Chris Sale of the Sox will face the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong. That could be a very good game in a National League ballpark, considering Sale wont have to see a DH.

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An interesting story to watch this road trip is going to be the health of Adam Eaton. Eaton has a bruised lower back after crashing into the fence in the series finale against Texas. If he will play, and how well remains to be seen. As all Sox fans know Eaton is the catalyst to the Sox offense, considering all the skills he brings to the top of the lineup.

While the White Sox season is quickly fading due to a lack of pitching, it should be interesting to see the younger players moving forward.

Part of the problem with the pitching is youth, and the fact that they are throwing more than they are used to, similar to what happened in 2012.

What could be interesting for the Sox to looking at down the stretch, assuming he gets healthy is Avisail Garcia. Garcia could use the experience heading into 2015, and hopefully all of the White Sox youth will bloom come next spring.