The Kevin Youkilis 90-day free trial started Monday, and somewhat uneventfully ended with a 1 for 4 night at the plate, and basic competence in the field. Seeing as the two big red flags with Youkilis have been declining power and a death spiral in his strikeout rate, three grounders and one fly out isn't the worst introduction.
Youkilis downplayed the narrative about him feeling spiteful toward the Red Sox, and if anything sounded homesick.
"It was just kind of enjoyable to be around new teammates and a new environment. It seems like I can’t escape the Red Sox with some of the highlights up there, but it was kind of nice to see some of your teammates doing well. Hopefully tomorrow there won’t be any Red Sox highlights so we can all move on.”
It might all be immaterial, but it's too bad Youkilis doesn't have the 'stick it to the Red Sox' angle to play out, because otherwise his goal is just to prove that he's not washed up, which is the same story every aging veteran has.
Youkilis wore #20 in his first game, after Jordan Danks agreed to give it to him and switch to #7. Timo Perez wore #7, and was also the no-hit fourth outfielder on the last White Sox World Series winner. The parallels here are obvious, friends.
Danks claimed that Youkilis promised to "hook him up", but does not know what he means by this. No one does, Jordan.
Peavy's heavy heart
It wasn't quite up at the level of Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer just a few days after his brother committed suicide, but Jake Peavy pitched Monday night in honor of his former bullpen coach in San Diego, Darrel Akerford, who recently passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 50.
Peavy wrote the initials 'AK' on the back of his cap.
All the good pitchers are tired
The White Sox rotation is in the unenviable position where all their actually well-performing pitchers--Chris Sale, Jake Peavy, and Jose Quintana--are supposed to be the arms they're protecting from heavy workload. The horses--Floyd and Danks--have been ineffective and hurt, or both.
Quintana is approaching his career-high in innings, and Mark Gonzales reports that he can expect to start seeing Sale-type days off. Where exactly that would come from with Danks and Humber on the shelf, Axelrod in the rotation, Stewart in Boston, Simon Castro bumping his head in AAA, and Nestor Molina struggling more a level lower, is really anyone's guess.
On the mend
John Danks played catch on flat ground on Monday, and reported mild progress, which is not particularly illuminating beyond the fact that he did not report a setback. Throwing on flat ground is below throwing off the mound with a towel on the rehab exercise hierarchy, if memory serves.
Philip Humber is throwing a bullpen session on Wednesday, which is much farther along, but also less exciting. He's eligible to return from the DL at the beginning of next week.
Sahadev Sharma of ESPN Chicago tweeted this after the game Monday, and well...maybe you should sit down.
Adam Dunn in his last 8 gms: 2-for-29 (.069/.229/.069), 18 Ks & 0 XBHs
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) June 26, 2012
Panicking about Dunn is unwarranted at this stage, so this is merely an annoying and very harmful slump at this point.
Also during that time, Konerko is 5 for 30 with a double, a homer, and three walks. Viciedo is 7 for 28, with a homer and three walks. All are problems, except for the part where Viciedo is walking in nearly 10% of his plate appearances. That can stay.