It's mid-August, and everyone's banged-up.
The White Sox are old, and that doesn't help, but most of the regulars have played over 100 games (A.J.'s stuck on 99, but everyone agrees that catching full-time is essentially self-mutilation). Playing in Saturday night's slop-fest probably didn't help anyone.
Improbably, Paul Konerko is fine after spending the minimum amount of time on the special seven-day DL for concussions. He's homered in both of his first two games back, and said it felt like he "just hopped in". That's surprising considering how much his description of the three days of symptoms he suffered resembled the plot of Less Than Zero:
"It's a very peculiar feeling. It's very depressing," said Konerko, who said it hurt for several days just to shift his eyes. "You feel not yourself. You almost feel, you don't care about anything. You're so depressed and unmotivated to do anything. You have no energy, no anything.
"You just feel like a different human being. You just feel like out of the world. It's just a weird feeling."
Well, uh, good to see him back!
Alejandro De Aza left the game on Friday, missed the whole affair on Saturday, and will be out Sunday because his back is "no bueno".
Well, that's what Alejandro said to sum up. More specifically, he cited a pinching feeling after his slide on Friday, and is day-to-day without any specific timetable to look to. Pell-mell, head-first sliding has marked De Aza's play throughout the season, and while it's hard to call for reform of any effective player's style, it never seemed like a good fit with his reputation for fragility.
DeWayne Wise has hit for great power in his five games in Chicago, while also displaying the lack of on-base skills that make him a poor replacement for De Aza should DL time be required.
Kevin Youkilis has been periodically missing games due to knee soreness, and Sunday will be another case, since it is currently "barking" at him. Speculation about what level of pain qualifies as "barking" aside, this is the third game he'll miss in August, and he's been in a bit of funk of recent. Youkilis missing games usually brings out Rey Olmedo, so that's no good.
The reason Olmedo is the only line of defense is Orlando Hudson going on the disabled list. He gave himself a hellish bruise fouling a ball off of his foot Wednesday. There were no broken bones, but Hudson had to be helped off of the field. The White Sox elected to go with a short bench and call up Donnie Veal, but how long that can last with Youkilis' knee problems and Beckham's fatigue is unknown. Tyler Flowers is the only position reserve available Sunday.
Leyson Septimo is on the DL with "biceps inflammation", with no projected recovery timetable. Not that there would seem to be any interest in his return. Stretched-out Hector Santiago took his place on the roster, and Donnie Veal is already pitching so well in the LOOGY role that Don Cooper said "I see no reason why he ever will see the minor leagues again."
That only makes the hindsight sharper for the decision to keep Septimo and his occasional control funks over Veal, who was dynamite in his original cameo. The Sox might have preferred to keep Santiago making starts until September, but it seems highly unlikely that Septimo will be around to make that possible.