John Danks finally won that Opening Day starting role that he sort of won already. It's an announcement that lacks the manufactured drama of the 25th man race, or the closer role, or the 'who in the bullpen isn't a closer candidate?' question, but it's something.
Ventura went farther to outline the entire rotation order:
Danks, Peavy, Floyd, Sale, Humber
There's the defacto ace, the guy who would be ace if he could piece himself back together, the guy talented enough to be an ace that it's never going to quite work out for, the young and possibly future ace, and the guy who was an ace in college but is probably maxing out his potential just to stay as a reliable rotation member.
It's a pretty intuitive list. Nothing could be considered controversial nor surprising, and yet, it means something that it's here. Baseball is closer, if only because Robin Ventura makes these announcements only out of necessity.
Welp, I held out for a week on the Viciedo panic, and in that time he went 2 for 15 with 5 Ks, a walk. He's still waiting for his first extra-base hit since the first week of Spring.
That gives him a .140/.196/.163 line with a 33.3% strikeout rate. I would wonder where his contact issues are coming from, but that's probably not assessing it right. He's having everything issues. He's not a functional player that's striking out too much, he's a mess that messing up too much.
So is anybody else finally starting to worry yet? RT @scottmerkin: Viciedo strikes out. Now hitting below .100 for the spring
— South Side Asylum (@SouthSideAsylum) March 26, 2012
Yes, I believe I am. Then again Viciedo had two hits immediately after this tweet. Perhaps the key was hitting rock bottom with enough violent force as to bounce back up.
Ventura says to be patient. He would.
As could be expected, Ventura has also confessed that the precise lineup order has not been finalized as of yet. Pierzynski the Great Bat-Handler is still the favorite for the No. 2 slot, but is also in competition with Brent Morel, and Brent Lillibridge is schedule to bat there Tuesday.
The White Sox don't figure to have a rigid lineup structure, as a lot will have to go right for them to be a good enough offense to offer that type of stability. Between half-worthy candidates like Pierzynski, Morel, Beckham, and Ramirez, the top of the order will be about determining who can shape themselves up into an above-average hitter that deserves the extra plate appearances.
Hopefully, at least one of them will.
On occasion, listening to the radio can be interesting...and educational!
On 670 AM the Score, while debating with a caller about a hitch in Gordon Beckham's swing, Chris Rongey specifically identified the problem as a moment in Beckham's load-up where his bat tilts back toward the dugout. He termed it as "a layoff", cited it as the reason Gordon is late on mid-90's fastballs, and something the coaching staff approached Beckham with in the middle of last-season.
Not expecting a mid-season overhaul, this Spring was supposed to be the big installation process for a more streamlined swing. So far, Beckham's produced bleh results that wouldn't convince anyone either way, which I suppose can happen when you're overhauling things. 5 hits in the last 3 games, though!
Perhaps this is something that's been mentioned before, but I haven't heard the tweaking of Beckham's swing addressed in this detail anywhere. I am willing to admit that I don't pay attention to the White Sox enough, even if my friends and family aren't.
Finally, while we're on the subject of Rongey, he also spoke with Konerko on Monday. When offered another crack to specify what his standard for success is this season, Konerko reiterated that he cared more about establishing positive habits and sound play than setting specific win-total goals.
It's a compromised position, and certainly a pretty sad statement for the franchise that the captain of the team isn't feeling bold enough to say "Well, obviously the goal for any team is to
win the World Series make the playoffs", but it's kind of amusing and great that the one thing Konerko is still willing to cling to is "let's stop playing like crap."