Surveying the White Sox on Thursday's day off …
The Sox are off to a sluggish start, and they very well might be sellers when the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline rolls around.
Scouting reportWhite Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels at U.S. Cellular Field
TV: Comcast SportsNet Friday; WGN Saturday; ESPN Sunday
Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Pitching matchups: The White Sox' Dylan Axelrod (0-2) vs. Tommy Hanson (2-1) Friday at 7:10 p.m.; Jose Quintana (2-0) vs. Jerome Williams (1-1) Saturday at 6:10 p.m.; Chris Sale (3-2) vs. C.J. Wilson (3-0) Sunday at 7:05 p.m.
At a glance: The White Sox are back home for a quick series with the Angels after going 4-4 on a road trip to Texas, Kansas City and New York (Mets). They're off to a slow start at 14-18, but the Angels are an even bigger disappointment. Despite a $142 million payroll and star players such as Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles is running fourth in the AL West and ranks last in the league in team defense and near the bottom in pitching. Pujols has been slowed by a sore knee. Heading into Thursday, Hamilton was batting .205 with 3 home runs and 10 RBI. Over the last seven games, Sox starters have a 1.96 ERA. The White Sox were 3-5 vs. the Angels last season.
Next: Minnesota Twins at Target Field, Monday-Wednesday
-- Scot Gregor
That being said, I think it's lazy and careless to be writing Jake Peavy is likely to be moved at the deadline.
True, the veteran starting pitcher could help a contending team -- assuming the Sox are completely out of contention two months hence. But ramping up speculation in early May is wrong, and Peavy is the wrong guy for the White Sox to move.
Let's review the rotation, which has been solid over the first quarter of the season.
Right-hander Gavin Floyd had reconstructive elbow surgery Tuesday and could be sidelined until 2015. Considering he's signed through '13, Floyd's days with the Sox likely are over.
John Danks had shoulder surgery nine months ago and appears to be another rehab start or two away from rejoining the Sox' rotation.
When Danks does come back, general manager Rick Hahn, manager Robin Ventura and the rest of the White Sox's staff have a tough decision to make.
Letting Danks get back in the flow out of the bullpen makes sense, but he has a five-year, $65 million contract and is not going to be pitching long relief.
Santiago has been brilliant in 2 starts since coming out of the 'pen to replace Floyd, allowing 1 earned run on 6 hits in 12 innings while striking out 14.
The numbers say leave Santiago in the rotation, but then the Sox are saddled with four left-handed starters: Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Danks and Santiago.
Peavy would be the only right-handed starter.
Moving Santiago back to the bullpen and leaving the right-handed Axelrod in the rotation makes sense from a balance standpoint, but Santiago nearly matched Mets phenom Matt Harvey pitch for pitch Tuesday night in New York.
Deuce is wild:
Where is the Jeff Keppinger who hit nearly .500 in spring training?
The Sox have got to be asking themselves that question because there is no doubt the current Keppinger is not the same guy they saw in March.
Signed to a three-year, $12 million deal over the winter to fill the gaping No. 2 hole in the batting order, Keppinger has a hideous .191/.188/.209 hitting line in 26 games.
Even worse, he has 12 strikeouts and ZERO walks in 110 at-bats. Playing with Tampa Bay last season, Keppinger was the American League's toughest hitter to strike out (31 in 418 at-bats). He also led the Rays with a .325 batting average.
Wednesday night, Ventura sat Keppinger out against the Mets and elevated Alexei Ramirez to the No. 2 spot.
Don't expect that to continue.
In defense of Keppinger, he's on a new team, he had to move from third base to second when Gordon Beckham went down with a fractured wrist on April 9, and he has been hampered by shoulder and back ailments.
Keppinger has to hit second if the White Sox hope to emerge from their season-long offensive slump. He deserves more time to get it turned around.
Upon further review:
Unlike other sports, the human element is still in play in major-league baseball.
But in 2008, under the objection of Commissioner Bud Selig, MLB started using video review for disputed home runs.
It should be dropped. Immediately.
If you haven't seen replays of Wednesday night's Athletics-Indians game, take a look at the Adam Rosales home run that apparently wasn't.
That came after Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez appeared to hit a 2-run homer Monday at Kansas City that was initially ruled foul.
Crew chief umpire Vic Carapazza told manager Robin Ventura there "were no good angles" to see if the ball was fair and the foul call stood.