Monday, 21 April 2008

Off to Disney on a downer

Chicago White Sox 6 - Tampa Bay Rays 0

As is so often the way, a great outing from one of our pitchers, Andy Sonnanstine on Saturday, was immediately overshadowed by a poor one from another. Edwin Jackson made his second consecutive below-par start, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. He walked four, and looked just like last year - good stuff, but oh-so-little control. Its really frustrating, because he's already demonstrated this year just how good he can be when he has it.

Of course he wasn't helped either by the Rays at the plate - after racking up 12 hits on Saturday, a combination of John Danks and Nook Logan shut us down on just 4 yesterday. Danks was mighty impressive, striking out eight in 7 innings.

In fact the only real highlight for the Rays was a beautiful 4-6-3 double play they turned. It would have looked good turned by anyone, but considering that Aki - who started it with a lovely shovel toss - only moved to second this spring, Elliot Johnson - who turned it with a great bare-hand grab - was making only his second start at short, and that Eric Hinske - who stretched to make the catch at first - was only playing there because of Pena's injury, it was extra-sweet. Our defense has been pretty impressive for the most part this season, and no-one moreso than Aki Iwamura, who, far from seeming new to second, looks like he's been playing there his whole career.

Roster bits and bobs now, and to make room for Dan Johnson on the roster we have optioned Jeff Niemann back to Durham. One good start and one poor one for Jeff while he was up here, but all-in-all I was fairly impressed, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him in the rotation come the end of the season. Taking his place in the rotation on Friday should be Matt Garza, who made a rehab start at Vero Beach yesterday. We'll obviously have to move a position player off the roster to bring him back, and I would expect that Justin Ruggiano will be that man.

Dioner Navarro should be back with us on Tuesday, assuming that a DH appearance for Vero Beach goes without a hitch tonight. Whether it is Shawn Riggans or Mike DiFelice who makes way is not as clear as might have been, thanks to some outstanding work both at the plate and behind it from DiFelice. Personally, while I am rooting for Riggans to stick - as much because I think he deserves the chance as it is because I think he's the better of the two - I wouldn't be terribly unhappy if we keep DiFelice.

Off day today, and then its down the road to Disney on Tuesday night, for the first of three against the Blue Jays. James Shields will be getting the start against a Frank Thomas-less Toronto team. Is Thomas someone we might be interested in picking up? Assuming Cliff Floyd isn't going to be out too long, then probably not. But you never know...


Anonymous said...

Your blog is perceptive and well-written and generally excellent.
—satchel from the OOTP boards

John said...

Thank you, thats very kind of you to say so.