Now that the Indians have sank down to .500 after being swept in New York--which is somewhat troubling since that's where the next series is--the White Sox are up in the AL Central by two and a half games. That margin ties June 3rd for the biggest lead they've held all season, which seems small, but no team has led this dogpile by more than four games at any point anyway.
Speaking of that Yankees series
CC Sabathia is going on the disabled list with a groin strain, and will be replaced with Adam Warren's major league debut. To set the stage for how this might affect the run environment, let's list the probable starters and their home run per nine innings rates for this four game set in the only stadium in the league that makes home runs in U.S. Cellular Field look legit.
Dylan Axelrod (2.08) vs. Ivan Nova (1.48)
Jose Quintana (0.42) vs. Adam Warren (0.94 in AAA)
Jake Peavy (0.69) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (1.13)
Gavin Floyd (1.50) vs. Phil Hughes (1.98)
There could be some runs this weekend. There could be dozens of them.
Willie come home, there's a hole in the bed
Perhaps it's because they initially planned to announce the whole deal on Thursday, but there was no replacement for Will Ohman on the roster announced by the end of Wednesday night. There are prime organizational LOOGY candidates in the lively but wild Donnie Veal and Leyson Septimo, but since Ohman was rather redundant already, they could go for another long reliever or just the best arm available.
In those terms, half of the AAA pitching staff is on the table. Go ahead, pick a favorite. I'm crushing on this John Danks character listed at the bottom who's apparently only gotten four innings of work.
Mark Gonzales reports that Philip Humber "felt great" during his bullpen session on Wednesday, and will be getting a rehab start on Sunday in AAA. If he's in line to return from the DL as soon as he's available, it drastically de-emphasizes the importance of deciding who replaces Ohman.
Draft Picks on Twitter
Normally, I would warn anyone thinking of following prospects on Twitter that you're following an 18-23 year-old male who spends all his time with other 18-23 year-old males and to prepare accordingly. Yet I'm optimistic for Barnum since one of his three tweets is politely correcting someone who undersold how high he was drafted.
Hawkins, I must warn, is an absolute retweeting machine. If he can turn around fastballs with half the skill he has for retweeting mentions of himself, the White Sox are going to win something around 15 World Series in a row.
Molina was actually hurt on Tuesday, but since his season has been bad and his injury is not serious, it slipped to this post. Nestor is being placed on the DL for a start or two while he waits for elbow soreness to subside. Nestor's given up 119 hits in 88 innings across AA and AAA this season, so unless he was planning on becoming the next Livan Hernandez, he's been a bit of a disappointment.
Sergio Santos blew a couple saves in his first two weeks in Toronto, and has been on the DL with shoulder problems ever since. The fairest trades are the ones where everyone loses.
Driving the ball the other way
In a video where he appears to be putting on pants while being interviewed, Kevin Youkilis confirmed that his opposite-field double on Wednesday is indicative of his approach, and that he "hopes it goes out in Chicago".
More interestingly, that led to a comment by Robin Ventura that Adam Dunn's two opposite field hits on Wednesday were the product of efforts to get him to stop pulling off of the ball.
Looks like it worked.
Tags: Adam Dunn, adam warren, baseball, cc sabathia, Cleveland Indians, courtney hawkins, donnie veal, dylan axelrod, Gavin Floyd, hiroki kuroda, ivan nova, Jake Peavy, Jose Quintana, keon barnum, kevin youkilis, leyson septimo, livan hernandez, nestor molina, New York Yankees, phil hughes, philip humber, Robin Ventura, Sergio Santos, U.S. Cellular Field, White Sox, Will Ohman