Following last night’s 12-5 defeat against the Cleveland Indians, the Chicago White Sox have now lost their last three games to fall to a 14-16 record. The White Sox are currently in third place in the American League Central Division, four games behind the Detroit Tigers. For a team that was supposed to be in a rebuilding year, the White Sox have been competitive, but they are still far from being a playoff team. There are plenty of issues with this team (mainly pitching), so expecting them to more than a .500 team is unrealistic at this point. The good news is that newcomers like Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton have shown what they care capable of and youngsters like Marcus Semien and Daniel Webb have flashed their potential.
Adam Eaton strained his right hamstring while trying to beat out double play ball and left the game after the inning. With Eaton’s left knee also still slightly bothering him, the White Sox placed him on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon. Even if Eaton is ready to go in 4 or 5 days, it is wise to force him to sit for a couple weeks to prevent a more serious injury from occurring. As good as Eaton can be, the one knock on him is his health. Eaton has had trouble staying on the field during his brief career, and his hard-nosed playing style doesn’t help matters. But, you would hate to see a player like Eaton “tone-down” his approach to the game because that’s part of what makes him an effective player. Unfortunately, this is something you just have to deal with and hope that it doesn’t occur too often.
Chris Sale won’t come off the disabled list this weekend, but he will throw a bullpen session on Monday. If everything goes well, Sale should either go on a rehab assignment later next week or be activated for a start next weekend. Obviously, the White Sox are desperately awaiting his return.
Jeff Keppinger (Double-A) and Felipe Paulino (Triple-A) are both set to being rehab assignments. As for Keppinger, I’m not really sure where he would fit on the roster, but I don’t think the White Sox will have to make a decision any time soon. Keppinger is probably going to need a few weeks worth or at-bats before he is ready to be activated. Felipe Paulino will start tonight in Charlotte, and will likely need several starts to not only show that he is healthy, but that he can be effective as well.
Nate Jones was transferred to the 60-day disabled list this afternoon. He last pitched on April 4th, so he likely will not be back until mid-June at the earliest. This is another unfortunately blow to Jones and the White Sox who expected the righty to close games this season. There is still a chance for that to happen in the second half of the year, but he’ll have a lot of work to do whenever he is fully healthy.
Prior to last night’s contest, the White Sox bullpen has pitched quite well during the past two weeks.
“After they posted a 6.12 ERA in their first 18 games, White Sox relievers have a 1.79 mark over the past 11 contests. The 1.79 ERA over that span is the lowest in the American League and helped to drop the team’s season mark to 4.83.” (courtesy of Comcast SportsNet’s Dan Hayes). Of course, the bullpen starts to settle down now that the starting rotation is a major issue, but it is encouraging. Once the White Sox get Chris Sale back pitching every five days, the pitching staff should at least be closer to being league average.
Danks Gets Roughed Up Again
John Danks had a rough outing last night, highlighted by a 5-run first inning. The lefty finished the night with 5 innings pitched, 10 hits, 8 runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. As I stated last week, the final two numbers of Danks’ stat line are the most troubling. Danks has now walked 20 batters while recording just 21 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. Pitchers are simply not going to be successful when they are walking guys at a high rate and not missing bats. Danks needs to correct this issue soon, and he will have a chance to do that during his next start when he faces a Chicago Cubs team that struggles to score runs.