While the 2012 Chicago White Sox can be characterized as the come back kids of baseball, the team's success is also due in large part to some of GM Kenny Williams' roster moves over the past few months.
Let's get this straight. I've questioned many of the moves Williams has made over the years. Nevertheless, the former White Sox outfielder and current front-office go-getter is bold. There's no denying that.
Williams has had quite the campaign—Kevin Youkilis, SP Francisco Liriano, OF Dewayne Wise and RP Brett Myers. Best part yet, all for minimal cost.
Regardless of Williams' successes, he'll need to push the right buttons to keep the White Sox playoff aspirations alive. Nobody needs to tell the Sox GM that the Detroit Tigers are breathing down the team's neck.
For the Sox to continue to thrive, they are going to need some of the guys on the farm to step in the month of September. Who's going to step up?
With rosters expanding come September 1st, the White Sox bench will feature some new infielders who have had success at the major-league level.
Look for Williams to promote 1B Dan Johnson, 2B Jose Lopez, 3B Brent Morel and C Hector Gimenez.
Both Johnson and Lopez have seen their respective ways around the American League.
Johnson, a pivotal member of numerous Oakland Athletics teams, could surely be a useful left-handed bat on the pine. The veteran has slugged 27 homers this season for the Charlotte Knights, while maintaining a .386 OBP.
Jose Lopez, a former All-Star second basemen for the Seattle Mariners, could provide the club with instant offense against lefty pitchers. Lopez has hit .277 for his career against southpaws, something that should seriously be considered given Beckham's offensive woes.
Morel, the team's former starting third basemen, has had a disastrous season full of poor play and injuries. Nevertheless, he plays solid defense and provides much needed depth at the position.
Gimenez, who could provide depth at catcher, will only be called on in an emergency situation given how productive AJ Pierzynski has been all season and the sudden emergence of power from backup Tyler Flowers.
After finding gold in the almighty Dewayne Wise and witnessing unlikely heroics from Jordan Danks, the White Sox could look at bringing up one or two more outfielders.
Choices include former Diamondback Conor Jackson and former Philly Greg Golson. Both options have major-league experience and possess decent athleticism and power.
With Alejandro De Aza due back in roughly ten days, the White Sox will surely have enough ammo in the outfield that this is barely a concern.
As the dog days of August come to a close, the grueling month of September is no vacation.
In order for the 2012 White Sox to make their push into the playoffs, the pitching staff has to succeed.
Lately, the team has played in so many late games that nearly every reliever has been overused. Coupled with the fact that Gavin Floyd has been atrocious lately, the pitching staff could surely use a boost of energy and stamina.
Even after recalling the likes of LHP Donnie Veal and LHP Hector Santiago, Williams will look for SP/RP Dylan Axelrod to provide spot starts and mop-up. He'll also seek for LHP Leyson Septimo, and perhaps RHP Charlie Leesman, to bolster the pen and provide much needed rest to the current bullpen.
If Williams hits lightning in a bottle with a couple of these kids, the White Sox should find themselves at the top come October.