We're not that far removed from Spring Training, a period of time where players racked up statistics that were best ignored due to the absence of a genuine major league competitive environment.
With that in mind, perhaps it would be beneficial to de-emphasize what took place after the White Sox went up 14-0 on the Indians Friday in their 15-10 win. The 10-run Indians rally highlighted by a 6 ER, 3 IP performance by the bullpen was ugly, sloppy, and generally reminiscent of the Sox' barely watchable 11-20 Spring.
What took place before the beginning of the 6th inning, showed an awful lot of potential for an offense with a new toy.
While an examination of Adam Dunn's flaws as a long-term, highly-paid professional hitter is more than merited, perhaps something is missed in combing through his stats and reviewing his contract, and it's something that becomes readily apparent watching the White Sox lineup. In replacing Mark Kotsay with Adam Dunn as their primary designated hitter, the Sox transformed their worst offensive player from a year ago into their best one.
It was a known concession--and a smart one considering their ballpark--that the White Sox were making for power over contact and on-base ability when constructing their lineup. However as Friday's opener showed, that doesn't make the Sox an all-or-nothing team. The idea of batters providing "protection" to one another is statistically negligible, but Dunn's often-overlooked plate discipline makes the lineup more of a collective ordeal for pitchers than it ever was in 2010.
Adam worked the count full in both of first two plate appearances. And while he jumped on the 2nd pitch his third time up, Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona was on his 88th pitch by that time, and the double Dunn lanced knocked him out of the game in the 4th inning.
Sadly, the White Sox can't face a sinkerballer working up in the zone and making mistakes with his slider every time out, but it appears they're better suited to allow guys having the type of day Carmona stumbled into to dig their own grave.
It took a year, but Ozzie has accepted that the DH is not another slot to rotate days off for position players, it's a loophole for teams to store another hulking masher that they otherwise wouldn't be able to hide in their defense. Granted it's only one game, but it feels darn good to be playing AL baseball again.
J.J. and Jim are two of the finest scribes on the web, so it would behoove you to check in on what they took away from the Sox Opening Day triumph.
Future Sox gives a toast to the new White Sox drafting philosophy.
Mike gives his keys to the Sox celebrating a Division Championship at the end of the year.
Melissa is appropriately pumped about Friday.