The Sox have turned inconsistency into consistency. The strength of the team that we projected in February – the starting pitching – has come through with extraordinary efforts. Even Freddy Garcia is pitching well. Combined with timely hitting from Andruw Jones, Alex Rios, and Konerko, the team is doing incredibly well. And this is occuring all while their offensive wunderkind Beckham & Quentin are scuffling.
I refuse to look beyond the next game, but this is certainly making for an entertaining June.
On a side note, I quietly mutter about the lack of attention that the Sox receive relative to their northside brethren. But when that attention revolves around the insanity of Carlos Zambrano, I am more than happy to sit quietly and continue to pile up wins.
LETS GO SOX!
The Sox beat the Tigers this afternoon with strong outings from Freddy Garcia, J.J. Putz and “gulp” the offensive combination of Juan Pierre, Alexei Ramirez, and Carlos Quentin.
One of the defining features of a not so good team is lack of consistency, and the Sox this year have certainly shown themselves to be inconsistent.
That said, it’s still May, and we are still within ten games of the Twins. If, if, IF we can get some consistent play from Juan, Alexei, and Carlos to match up with the play we have seen so far this year from Rios, Andruw, and Paulie….this could still be a team that wins the division.
We cannot, however, afford to keep digging a deeper hole. CAN NOT!
But Jake Peavy just had his second EXTREMELY strong outing in a row…..and Konerko, (my new best friend) Andruw Jones, and Rios are hitting the ball very, very well.
Let’s make something out of this boys!
P.S. – Small ball be damned; Paul Konerko leads the majors in home runs.
An 11-1 pounding of the Jays brings the Sox record to 4-5, and leaves them in a tie with the Royals and behind the Tigers and Twins who are both 6-3.
Through these first nine games the pitching has been the team’s strength (as expected) although there have been some troubling performances.
Jake Peavy has yet to hit his stride. I did not see his first outing, but in his second outing against the Jays he did not seem to have the velocity on his fastball, or the snap on his sinker. No one is willing to say that there is an injury at issue here, and he did not appear to be laboring against the Jays, so you have to hope that it is something that he will come out of.
Bobby Jenks has been inconsistent through these first games. He has had dominant performances and followed them up with outings where he couldn’t find the plate. Bobby nearly gave away the first victory against the Jays when he couldn’t pitch a strike.
On the other hand, Santos has look very strong, and Danks just got done slamming the door on the Jays….so overall you have to be pleased, if a bit concerned with the slow start of two very important members of the staff.
On the offensive side, Andruw Jones has proven that he wasn’t just talking about having a strong season this spring. He damn well meant it. As far as this Sox fan is concerned, he has to be in the lineup every night for so long as he is able to perform at this level.
Rios, by the numbers has had a slow start, but has hit the ball hard.
Finally, the two young lions in the lineup, Beckham and TCQ, are having strong starts to the season that will hopefully carry through the remainder of the year.
The Sox have two more in Toronto and then three in Cleveland before closing out the first month against three strong teams in Tampa, Seattle, and Texas.
WSCR reports that Scott Boras gave Kenny Williams a bottom line number that Kenny didn’t like, so Kenny pulled his offer. Boras also reportedly wanted an extra year from Detroit – which it is unwilling to give.
All of which means that this is not nearly over. As teams come to camp and realize that they do or do not have everything that they think they do (see my hopes and dreams for Andruw Jones) this situation will resolve itself.
The boys come together at Camelback Ranch on Sunday afternoon. They can’t get started a moment too soon. Real winter weather in the Midwest and financial distress have made this winter insufferable. So let’s play ball.
Quite happily, 4/5 of the rotation and all of the starting field positions appear to be set heading into spring. There only seem to be three significant roster battles:
DH – With the potential Damon signing looming in the background, we appear headed to a “DH by committee” plan which will primarily include Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay. Earlier in his career A. Jones was an absolute stud for the Braves. If he can get his body right and find some of that magic, it would be outstanding for the Sox. That’s what this Sox fan is hoping for!
Fourth Bench Spot – Castro (Flowers needs to go to Charlotte to work on his defensive game), Kotsay, Jones, and Vizquel appear to be locks for bench spots, which leaves the need for another infielder, IMO. As happened last spring, this appears to be a battle between Nix and Lillibridge. Unless Lillibridge shows some real maturity at the plate, which he clearly lacked last year, this seems to be Nix’s job to lose.
Fifth Starter – Garcia and Hudson appear to be the main combatants here. I suspect that Garcia will get the spot because of his experience and his relationship with Ozzie. Frankly, I’d prefer that Hudson return to Charlotte to get a consistent spot in their rotation. Regardless of who fills this spot, I am thrilled not to have to be worried about the health and wellbeing of Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon anymore!
The bullpen will be some combination of Jenks, Putz, Thornton, Linebrink, Randy Williams, Pena, Dolsi, Carlos Torres, and Nunez. I have a hard time getting a good read on this, but there should be enough talent there to carry us into the regular season, and if not, “Coop will fix ’em!”
THIS JUST IN – As I am writing this WSCR in Chicago is reporting that the Sox have withdrawn their offer to Johnny Damon.
Looking forward to getting a great season started. We’ve got one of the three best rotations in the AL, and an overall better defensive team than we did last year. If Ozzie ball can score some runs, there is no reason to think that this team can’t win the division!
….I guess I must have fallen asleep.
IMO, hopes should be very high for the Sox heading into the 2010 campaign.
We’ve got one of the strongest rotations in the American League led by Peavy and Buehrle.
We’ve got a real life leadoff hitter in Juan Pierre
TCQ has not broken or torn anything in the past several months
Beckham had a great ’09, and should only get better in in ’10.
We have some established veteran (and in the case of Omar V. I do mean veteran) presence on the bench in the form of Kotsay, Vizquel, and a renewed Andruw Jones.
Only five days til pitchers and catchers report. Let’s Go Sox