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updated: 5/4/2014 7:41 PM

The state of the Sox, at a glance

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  • White Sox rookie Jose Abreu leads the majors after hitting his 12th homer of the season Sunday at Cleveland. Scot Gregor advises Cubs pitchers to pepper Abreau with sliders and change-ups on the outside part of the plate.

      White Sox rookie Jose Abreu leads the majors after hitting his 12th homer of the season Sunday at Cleveland. Scot Gregor advises Cubs pitchers to pepper Abreau with sliders and change-ups on the outside part of the plate.
    Associate Press

 
 

Hey Bruce,

I think the White Sox and Cubs should be playing this crosstown series in June or July, but what are you going to do? Let's play four.

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It's difficult to cover one team and be totally up to date with another, so here is some Sox information to get you up to speed:

Momentum

It looked like the White Sox were going to show up at Wrigley tonight with a five-game losing streak and a serious lack of confidence, but Dayan Viciedo changed all that with one big swing Sunday.

The Sox' fourth outfielder to open the season, Viciedo took over in right field when Avisail Garcia went down for the season in early April with a shoulder injury.

With one out in the ninth inning and trailing 3-1 at Cleveland, Viciedo rallied the White Sox to a much-needed win with a 3-run homer off Indians closer John Axford.

It was a huge hit for a team in desperate need of one, so the Sox should have much more life when they invade the North Side.

Injuries

The White Sox aren't making any excuses, but they are a beat-up ballclub.

The Sox' best pitcher, Chris Sale, is still on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his left arm, and he's not likely to return for at least two weeks.

Adam Eaton, who ignites the American League's highest-scoring offense (163 runs) out of the leadoff spot, is on the DL with a strained right hamstring.

Garcia is out for the season, relief pitcher Nate Jones is having back surgery today and is likely out until the all-star break, and third baseman Conor Gillaspie (thumb), starter Felipe Paulino (shoulder) and infielder Jeff Keppinger (shoulder) are on minor league rehab assignments.

Gillaspie could rejoin the White Sox when the interleague series shifts to the South Side on Wednesday.

Jose Abreu

He's in a mild 4-for-21 slump (9 strikeouts), but Abreu hit his major-league leading 12th home run Sunday.

Cubs pitchers would be wise to pepper Abreu with sliders and change-ups off the outside part of the plate. If you throw the Sox' new first baseman a fastball in nearly any location, he's going to hit it hard.

Bullpen

This was a shaky unit over the first three weeks of the season, but the bullpen has settled down while allowing just 10 earned runs in the last 49⅔ innings.

You probably remember Zach Putnam when he was with the Cubs last season, but he's not the same guy that had an 18.90 ERA in five games. Since coming up from Class AAA Charlotte and joining the White Sox on April 17, Putnam has allowed just 2 earned runs on 11⅓ innings (1.59 ERA).

Scott Carroll

You'll see him Thursday at the Cell, and you're likely to see why he is the Sox' best starter despite having just 2 major-league outings under his belt.

Carroll, a 29-year-old rookie and former college quarterback, works fast, throws strikes and has a nasty sinker.

Abreu has had the biggest impact in the early going, but the good-natured Carroll is the White Sox' best story.

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