For the second-straight Friday, Chris Sale will square off against one the best pitchers in the National League, this time it being Zack Greinke of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Hopefully this goes better than last week's showdown against Clayton Kershaw, where both hurlers struggled as the game spiraled into a discombobulated slugfest. Sale in particular seemed to keyed up and walked a career-high four batters. Of course, one of the times he walked three came in just a third of an inning in the last game of the 2011 season.
Perhaps picking out two distinctly poor Chris Sale memories was not the best way to drum up excitement for Friday night's game.
A White Sox minor league player is being honored, and not for winning 'Avocado Salesmen of the Year' this time
2nd basemen Carlos Sanchez was named to the World Team of the MLB Futures Game that will be played on All-Star Weekend at Kansas City, the same game Dayan Viciedo played in last season.
Sanchez is slick-fielding 19 year-old 2nd basemen who hits singles in large quantities at High-A Winston-Salem, for a .327/.386/.412 line. That would make him more like Eduardo Escobar than the last Carolina League infielder that got us all hot under the collar, Tyler Saladino.
Tyler has seen his power completely abandon him in AA Birmingham, but is at least leading the Southern League in walks, something neither Sanchez or Escobar will ever do.
The person you see on the screencap in the video on the linked article, is not Carlos Sanchez.
Concerning the welt on Alejandro De Aza's thigh
If it wasn't clear by the way he stared at Manuel Corpas for ten seconds, De Aza thinks the pitch that hit him in the thigh in the 8th inning Wednesday night was thrown intentionally, and with manager's orders. He also added that he and Corpas was friends. Interesting to see that baseball ruins the friendships of players too, not just those of overly-engaged bloggers who shirk their social commitments.
Jim rifled through the possible motivations of the Cubs to take such an action, and between taking offense to Jake Peavy's comments stating that the Sox should be beating teams of the Cubs' ilk, and Alex Rios stealing 2nd base while up six runs, there's nothing that merits more than a shrug on its own. All of it together, combined with the events of the previous series, and perhaps the Cubs' testiness makes more sense.
The O-Dog returns
Orlando Hudson is set to return to 3rd base after a rapturous day off that saw replacement Eduardo Escobar reach base twice--albeit without sending a ball out of the infield--and flashed the leather in the field.
Shuffling through these two guys for starting 3rd basemen is pretty much the worst-case scenario for the position, but the hope would be that if Ventura is waiting on one of these players to slowly come into their own, it's not Hudson. And yet:
"(Hudson) is learning (third base), but there's a learning curve to it. I just want to let him take his mind off it and let him play.
A.J. Pierzynski loses count
During the 8th inning Wednesday night, A.J. Pierzynski started to jog off the field after Matt Thornton struck out David Dejesus for the second out of the inning. Hawk laughed, Thornton laughed, and Pierzynski got back into place. CSN Chicago's David Kaplan--who lead the cries against Starlin Castro when he forgot the number of outs and didn't go for a double play, resulting in a run--asked why there was no outcry.
The short, snarky and unhelpful answer is that no one cares, because it's not a big deal. But the real reason it's not a topic anyone's running with is because they were polar opposite situations. Pierzynski's mistake had no consequences at all, and rather than being a young player that the entire fanbase is obsessed with the development of, if anyone thought A.J.'s behavior was something that could be molded or changed, he'd be in some facility surrounded by high fences.
A letter at the end of Mark Gonzales' reader mailbag prompted his strong defense of Don Cooper's qualifications, in case you were wondering about them:
"Cooper might have his faults (being protective of Gavin Floyd), but many scouts have told me he's either the best pitching coach in the game or one of the best. And I have tremendous respect for those scouts who have made those comments."
There was also this:
"Don't get me started on Jenks. I like Bobby, but he created his own problems."
Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, Alejandro De Aza, baseball, carlos sanchez, Chicago Cubs, Chris Sale, clayton kershaw, Dayan Viciedo, Don Cooper, Eduardo Escobar, manny corpas, milwaukee brewers, orlando hudson, Robin Ventura, starlin castro, tyler saladino, White Sox, zack greinke