Breaking News: Carlos Quentin placed on the 15-day disabled list, Dayan Viciedo recalled from Charlotte.
This is a Hollywood script in the making. Just imagine, Viciedo finally arrives on the South Side, has a monster five weeks and helps the White Sox overcome the seven-game deficit to win the A.L. Central.
I’m just saying…
What were the odds…at the beginning of the season that Brent Lillibridge (12) would have more home runs than Adam Dunn (11) at the end of August? And Lilli has done it in about 200 less at bats. Brent’s 12th, a two-run blast, came last night and proved to be the difference in the 4-2 Sox victory over the Mariners At Safeco Field. A native of the Seattle area, Lilli is shown above, perhaps pointing to this friends and family in the stands.
Duh, yeah, Alex Rios, you’re right about that: “The more wins we get, the better off we will be.”
I guess the White Sox centerfielder could be excused for his Yogism after he had a lot to do with the White Sox’s rare laugher this afternoon as they blanked the defending American League champion Rangers, 10-0. It was a banner day for the beleaguered Rios both at bat and in the field.
On a day like this when everything is clicking, it’s a pleasure to look at the box score:
–The South Siders scored 10 runs on 16 hits.
–Homers were cranked by Rios and Brent Lillibridge.
–A three-hit day was enjoyed by Lillibridge while Rios, Juan Pierre, Paul Konerko,Tyler Flowers, Alejandro De Aza and Gordon Beckham had two hits apiece. The only Sox player without a hit was Alexei Ramirez, but he scored a run after drawing a walk.
–Other offensive highlights included a three RBI day by De Aza, two apiece by Pierre, Lillibridge and Rios and Flowers’ three runs scored.
—Gavin Floyd was outstanding as he won his 11th game. In seven innings, he gave up just three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Chris Sale pitched a scoreless eighth and Jason Frasor struck out the side in the ninth.
–The only blemishes were the two errors, one by Lilli and one by Alexei.
With the victory the Sox are back at .500. They remain five games in back of the Tigers and are now just a half-game behind the Indians.
Sox Note of Note: It’s likely that Carlos Quentin won’t be back in the lineup until the end of the week at the earliest. The possibility of him being put on the DL is still there with Dayan Viciedo waiting in the wings.
The important subtext from last night’s satisfying 3-2 victory over the Rangers is the shoulder injury to Carlos Quentin.
We’re told he won’t be in the lineup today and will be re-evaluated Tuesday in Anaheim after tomorrow’s day off. The 800-pound elephant in the room, of course, is that Dayan Viciedo (pictured below) is waiting in the wings if Quentin goes on the disabled list.
I think we all agree that losing Quentin is not a good thing. Aside from Paul Konerko, he has been the club’s most potent run producer. But if fate should have it that Quentin can’t play, the seemingly major league-ready Viciedo will be welcomed with open arms with the hope he can provide an offensive spark. Lord knows, we need it.
Sox Note of Note: A bit ironic, don’t you think, that last night’s hero was Quentin’s outfield replacement–the much-maligned Alex Rios, who doubled in the winning run?
Jason Frasor surrendered the walkoff homer last night as the Sox winning streak ended at five, preventing them for reaching .500 and gaining another game on the Tigers. But the truth is that it wasn’t Frasor’s gopher ball or Phil Humber’s mediocre start that was responsible for the defeat. And it’s not what has separated a team that is now four games out of the division lead from being on top of the heap. We all know it’s been the offense.
In the 6-4, 10-inning loss to the Orioles, it was apparent as ever. Despite a nice comeback which tied the game at 4-4, the bottom line is that the three players who have been the most disappointing this season had their chances to put the Sox over the top in clutch situations–but didn’t. This time, I find it hard to blame Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham even though they both left multiple runners on base. Rios did collect a pair of hits and scored a run and Beckham had an infield hit and a run scored.
But friends, Adam Dunn is another story–a very, very old story. It’s time, maybe well past time, to cut our losses. After another three-strikeout game and leaving five runners on the bases, Dunn continues to hurt our chances to win games.
It’s time to put him on the bench permanently. With Paul Konerko unable to play first, we’ll just have to live with Brent Lillibridge there for the time being. We know he’s not a starting player and has the potential to be almost as deadly as Dunn a the plate, but as I see it we have no choice. Let’s just put him on first until Konerko’s injury heals and when Sept. 1 rolls around call up Dayan Viciedo to DH. And remember, Viciedo can play first if Konerko’s return to first is delayed longer than we think.
Moving Dunn from the cleanup spot to No. 7 in the order is like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. You can make a good argument that he’s the main reason why we’re not a first-place team. And even if there’s just a bit of truth to that statement, the time is now: Dunn should take a seat on the bench.
I think we all agree that adding a potent bat to the inconsistent White Sox offense would be a huge plus. Juan Pierre‘s not getting the job done, Gordon Beckham is still scuffling for the most part and the struggles of Adam Dunn and Alex Rios have been documented ad nauseum. And, oh, the lack of clutch hitting.
Forget the trade route, it’s not necessary to pursue. The answer is staring us in the face and it’s in the person of Dayan Viciedo. Kenny Williams has said he’s ready, Dayan himself has said he’s ready, and we could use a shot of adrenaline. Let’s do it.
Three spring trainings ago, when he was 19, there was some scuttlebutt that the Cuban-born Viciedo would be ready to take over third base right away. But it became obvious he had defensive deficiencies, had minimal patience at the plate, was not in good condition and generally not ready for prime time.
So, the Sox sent him to AA Birmingham, then AAA Charlotte, where he is now. He temporarily shifted to first base and now has settled nicely in right field. He’s matured, is in good shape, has more plate discipline–and, of course, still has that electric bat that Sox fans saw briefly last year when he was called up to Chicago. There’s every reason to believe he can be a dominant major league hitter.
His stats back that up. So far this season he has 11 homers, 47 RBIs, 21 doubles, a .325 batting average and a .913 OPS.
So, who does Viciedo replace in the lineup and on the roster? My vote is that he starts in right with Carlos Quentin moving to left. As much as he’s a good guy and a hard worker, Juan Pierre should be the everyday odd man out. Then, it seems it would be between Juan and Mark Teahen as to who stays or goes.
I know, there’s the issue of the leadoff man. Pierre has had trouble bunting, is only hitting in the .250s and isn’t much of a stolen base threat anymore. It might not be as big a problem as we think. And we’re fully aware he’s been dreadful at times in the outfield.
The most logical choice is Alexei Ramirez. He’s not ideal, but I have confidence he can get the job done. It also might mean moving Beckham to the No. 2 hole, though Ozzie has said that in time Brent Morel may be the answer there.
I’ll let KW and the skipper figure out the details, but since there are viable options I’m confident it’s the right thing to do–and at the right time.
The White Sox can’t officially announce their final moves before leaving Glendale, but it seems the word is out: