Saturday smatterings

Saturday smatterings
Run! Run from the memory of a baserunning error! // Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune

The White Sox can still beat the Mariners (22 out of the last 26), so in some degree, the status quo remains alive and well, in spite of last night.

The completion of the supersonic mega-deal between the Dodgers and Red Sox has the baseball word aflutter.  The Red Sox sent a quater of a billion dollars worth of change of scenery candidates (Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett) to Los Angeles in exchange for a not too shabby at all prospect haul.  This season has turned everyone into big believers in clubhouse chemistry, or at least, believers that  it can be properly deleterious when it's defined by a disruptive manager.

Kevin Youkilis' immediate awakening (.233/.315/.377 in Boston, .246/.368/.463 in Chicago, with huge upticks in walks and power), certainly contributed to the notion that escaping Boston is worth a few extra wins of production, even for the most banged-up and used-up players.

Laurence Holmes of 670 The Score has been somewhat jokingly referring to Youkilis' production in terms of 'Laurence W. Holmes Wins Over Replacement', which he uses to represent the number of games the he thinks White Sox wouldn't have won if not for Youkilis' presence.  It's a gleefully subjective measure, but it harkens back to the early-season sense that even though Brent Morel was just one player, the game kept finding him so long as he remained in the #2 hole.

Now, it's finding Youkilis, and the results are easy to spot.  He figured greatly in the go-ahead runs no fewer than a half-dozen times in the first two weeks of July, had the signature hit of the Yankees series, and saved the Sox from a disastrous loss with a game-tying single Friday night.  A fantastic acquisition that gets better with context.

The game finding Addison Reed is a specific part of the White Sox game plan, and he'd been having a mighty fine month of August until Friday night.  It's funny that a story with a headline of "Reed building repertoire with changeup" ran on the White Sox website in immediate response to a night where got knocked around for throwing 77% fastballs.  He was specifically ineffective with the change Friday night, held back his slider until the last batter, and got punished for a fastball he couldn't spot.

A return to a daily assessment of where Reed's off-speed stuff is looks to be in order, as his rookie season continues to be the trying learning experience that his cruise through the minor leagues wasn't.

Speaking of learning experiences in the minors, Alejandro De Aza is apparently going to make rehab starts before returning to the active roster, where he'll learn what it's like to run without pain.

That might suggest he's not going to return on time, but his claims that he feels much better during workouts are encouraging.  On the one hand, getting De Aza fully healthy so that he can be his effective, pedal-to-the-metal, speed-merchant self was the entire point of putting him on the DL, on the other, the comments by the Sox about Wise reflect that they think his production is a bit more than lightning in a bottle from a Quad-A veteran.

Wise credits his success this season to a slight adjustment in his stance that Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long made in Spring Training.  That's absolutely hysterical, since Greg Walker could have racked up multiple DUI arrests  and not have been as disliked by his team's fan base as Kevin Long is in New York.

As you might have expected, both Seattle outfielders Eric Thames and Michael Saunders are out of the lineup Saturday after their collision to end the game Friday night.    You remember that one.


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