The best move that the Chicago White Sox could make before the MLB trade deadline is addressing the bench. With the non-waiver deadline looming, it wouldn't be a terrible thing for them pick up a bit of insurance.
Chicago's lineup got a taste of the kind of grind that comes with a pennant race while beating Texas 9-5 in the opener of a three-game weekend set. When A.J. Pierzynski sat out his third straight game, the White Sox got some grim reminders that sometimes baseball is a game of attrition.
Paul Konerko, who has been getting his game together at the plate in the last ten games, was hit on the hand by Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando in the top of the seventh. In the bottom half of that inning, Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez collided while pursuing a fly ball.
Konerko stayed in the game. Ramirez remained in the lineup and lined a two-run homer to the left that helped seal the win. De Aza, however, was replaced by Jordan Danks in center field.
De Aza apparently suffered a mild sprain in his left wrist. When asked after the game, he said that he didn't feel he would miss much time.
"His (Ramirez's) body twisted my wrist," De Aza said to Scott Merkin of MLB.com. De Aza had a two-run single in the fourth inning to give Chicago a 5-4 lead. "If I miss any time, maybe one day. But I don't think this is bad."
Expect to see Danks in center Saturday and possibly on Sunday. The injury is not thought to be serious, though Pierzynski's right oblique strain has kept him out of the lineup a bit more than expected.
Konerko missed a few days after being hit behind the knee around this time last season. He returned to the lineup but was obviously hampered by the injury for the remainder of the season.
Chicago can ill afford to miss a regular for an extended time—not with a battle for the AL Central shaping up for the last two months. De Aza would be tough to replace in the outfield, despite how Danks is a great defensive player. At the plate, De Aza has produced in the leadoff spot. The White Sox would be hard-pressed to fill his place in the batting order.
If Ramirez went down, it would have been disastrous from a defensive standpoint. For a guy who has hit .368 since the middle of June, it would take away another potent batter as well.
Add the ankle that Kevin Youkilis rolled Wednesday against Minnesota, and there could be a need for the bench to deliver in some big spots. Right now, infield reserves Eduardo Escobar and Orlando Hudson aren't putting much fear in opposing pitchers if Youkilis or Ramirez miss time.
Escobar is hitting .195 thus far in 2012. Hudson would consider that a step up in performance, as the veteran has been hitting just .178 for the White Sox since being released by the Padres.
The White Sox may not be adding Zack Greinke via trade due to news that he is bound for the Angels. However, a trade for a reserve or two could turn out to be a big move as the push for the playoffs continue.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!