Orlando Hudson has charmed us all with competent major league at-bats from the 3rd base position, but Brent Morel is on the recovery trail and has a starting job waiting for him if Robin Ventura sticks to his words.
Morel took BP, did some exercises, and should be starting rehab work in Charlotte Wednesday, which is a sneaky way to see if his new health will produce some competent at-bats.
The idea of a functional Morel is a strange concept to consider, since most of the season has been spent pining for someone who could even be replacement-level in his stead. If healthy, he has more potential than the aging Hudson--who is far better suited to serve as a utility msn than Eduardo Escobar--but if the Sox are going to be in a pennant race, leashes for struggling players are going to shorten.
Speaking of injured players that fans didn't seem particularly sad to see go, John Danks played some catch and reported some slight improvement in the shoulder soreness that put him on the disabled list.
Jose Quintana has earned a second start in Danks' place, and is scheduled to face the Rays on Wednesday. They're not as lefty-heavy as the Indians, but Quintana should be a benefit against the likes of Carlos Pena, Matt Joyce, and Luke Scott.
Speaking of the Indians, Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus' doesn't think the strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Indians rotations portends future success. The free excerpt of his newsletter contains this:
"The absolute number is important; just three guys a year even get through the season in the rotation striking out 1.5 guys or less for every walk they allow. The Indians are trying to win with four of them starting every five days."
Cleveland obviously planned on Ubaldo Jimenez reclaiming something closer to the form that made him the NL All-Star starter in 2010, and Justin Masterson building on his strong 2011, but as is the Indians' rotation is suspect.
Feats like winning 10 out of 11 games and having the second-best run differential in the AL can only be ignored for so long. ESPN's David Schoenfield called Sale "one of the best young starters" in baseball and praised the White Sox chances to be competitive, while adding the backhanded "in the AL Central" caveat.
CBS' Danny Knobler acknowledged that the Sox have come a long way from looking like one of the worst teams in baseball in the Spring, and reiterated that the Tigers still frame the discussion of what any AL Central team is capable of.
Kenny Williams trotted out the talking point that increased fan attendance will make it easier for him to build a winner, this time in regards to being able to make mid-season trades. Now that it's been a week and six wins since Jake Peavy made the same 'fans need to save the team' plea, Williams is making a case for convenience, arguing that being in the position where he can take on extra salary makes it less likely he'll have to purge future talent in a trade.
With the future in mind, Williams also stated that the White Sox would opt for best player available over positional need in the draft.
That's bad news for those who wanted to see a polished college player rushed through the minors to take the place of their least favorite regular, but good news for those who tire of the cycle of low-ceiling college players. He also praised the effect of the new CBA on the draft, proving that he both is familiar with the last 10 years of White Sox draft history, and has read the CBA.
After being selected by the Twins in the Rule 5 draft but returned in Spring Training, AAA Charlotte pitcher Terry Doyle carried a no-hitter against Minnesota's AAA-affiliate into the 8th inning, before his performance waned in the face of a leg cramp.
Doyle's ability to work over minor league hitters is not a revelation and shouldn't change the thinking about him, but given who the Twins have turned to this season, it's a bit of egg on their faces for re-gifting a decent fill-in starter.
Fukudome must be pleased
Since letting it be known on May 17th that he had planned to play more this season, Kosuke Fukudome has made one start, appeared once as a pinch-hitter, and once as a pinch-runner.
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Tags: Adam Dunn, baseball, Brent Morel, carlos pena, CBA, Chris Sale, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, John Danks, Jose Quintana, Justin Masterson, Kenny Williams, luke scott, matt joyce, Minnesota Twins, mlb draft, orlando hudson, Robin Ventura, tampa bay rays, terry doyle, ubaldo jimenez, White Sox