In case you missed it...
Viciedo turned around a high fastball for his 14th home run of the season, and gave the White Sox a 4-3 lead they would cling to for a series-opening win in New York Thursday night. It was a pretty great moment. You almost wish there wasn't a game every day, so that there was more time to appreciate it.
The Septimo era begins
The White Sox opted for LHP Leyson Septimo to replace Will Ohman in the bullpen. Septimo has huge velocity, has eviscerated lefties this season (12.2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 16 K), but his control problems emerge against opposite-handed hitters. Apparently the Sox had no issues with fielding three lefties in the bullpen, just with the quality of the third one.
There might not be much permanence to this move, since Philip Humber could return soon and just push Axelrod to the long relief role. It's a game of wait and see, that Axelrod certainly might have fiddled with Thursday by shutting down New York.
Dan Hayes of CSN reported that Jesse Crain came in from pre-game warm-ups and said he "didn't feel good". He was examined by the medical staff and cleared, and while shoulder tightness sounds ominous, Scott Merkin tweeted that he should be ready as soon as Friday.
For whatever reason, Crain hasn't pitched since last Saturday. Despite the most prominent memories of his 2012 season probably being back-to-back blown leads against Seattle, his results have actually been the best of his career--28 K in 22.2 IP.
All-Stars at heart
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs went over who he felt has put together the best statistical cases for the All-Star team in the 1st half. He did it for both leagues, but most immediately relevant to Sox fans is that he gave the nod to Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Chris Sale. Cameron acknowledged A.J. Pierzynski as the last catcher he left off of his roster, using the phrase "Apologies to A.J. Pierzynski."
You don't get to read such a sentence very often.
Because when you think durability, you think Gavin Floyd?
Ben Lindbergh at Baseball Prospectus did some investigation into what commonalities exist amongst the small crop of starting pitchers who just seem to avoid all injury. Other than the blanket characterization that lower-velocity arms tend to be the most durable, he found that it's been a struggle to settle on any consistent themes or warning signs.
What drove me to include it amongst these notes is that Linbergh assembled a list of ten pitchers who since 2002 have thrown over 1,000 innings and have avoided a stint on the DL. Mark Buehrle, of course, topped the list, but bringing up the rear was Gavin Floyd, with 1,049 innings logged.
It's odd to think of Floyd as a workhorse--he hasn't topped 200 innings since 2008, and him not making a DL trip deserves an asterisk for the end of 2010, when he went down with shoulder tightness at the end of the year. And yet, he's working toward his fifth-straight 30-start season on the South side.
Like it or not.