Kenny Williams and the Sox are doing everything in their power to make a deep run into the playoffs in the 2011 season.
They signed Dunn, they resigned Konerko and AJ, they brought in some bullpen depth, they picked up Ozzie’s option, and now they’ve gone and locked up A.Ram for four years.
The only real question mark heading into the season is Peavy’s health, and with the strength that we have in the rotation without him, that is really a question that only impacts who the 5th starter will be. Which is not to say that Peavy would be the 5th in the Sox rotation; but with Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, and E Jax, you’ve got pitchers with the talent necessary to fill the one through four spots in your rotation.
It’s February, baby! Just a few more days until pitchers and catchers report!
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.
Through four innings, Jose was everything Ozzie could have wanted him to be, no walks, strike out an inning, two hits. Then came the fifth, and Jose came unglued. He committed an error, allowed two runs, and opened the floodgates for a nine to nothing beat down.
Ozzie may simply need to recognize that, only eight months after a ruptured achilles, Jose does not have the stamina to go much longer than four.
The other half of the equation on this day was that we committed two errors, and only had four hits. Even if your starter has his best stuff, you are not going to beat many with those stats.
On to Tampa to face the Rays who are on a two game slide themselves. Thursday night’s tilt pits Danks against Jeff Niemann, a guy who the Sox lit up for six in their last outing against him.
Let’s do it again boys!
All about the pitchers again today.
Poreda had a good outing, and is making a strong showing for the final bullpen spot.
Danks struggled, but didn’t seem to shaken by it in the post game interviews.
Contreras is progressing ahead of Colon at this point which boggles the mind given the fact that JC actually ruptured his achilles, while Colon was simply out of shape. The question has to be asked, how out of shape was he when they contacted him?
Buehrle returns to the team after heading home for the birth of his second child.
Welcome back Mark, and congrats.
An especially strong game for Gavin Floyd and Gordon Beckham in today’s victory over the Dodgers.
Gavin pitched four scoreless innings yielding no hits, two walks, and two strike outs.
Gordon went three for five with three doubles. With none of the other second base candidates grabbing hold of the opportunity, the kid could make the starting roster if he keeps this up.
Johnny Danks starts against the Tribe tomorrow.