Now that top prospects Dan Hudson and Tyler Flowers have been called up to the majors, the Sox could be starting a youth movement.
The Sox have essentially thrown in the towel, as evidenced by their recent trades of Jim Thome and Jose Contreras. They have gone 1-9 thus far on what started as a crucial road trip and currently sit seven games back in the standings.
Granted, it wouldn't surprise me if these guys simply ride the pine while getting their feet wet as September call-ups. In fact, that seems to be the plan at the moment with Flowers sitting his first two games in the bigs and Hudson not scheduled to start yet.
I'm really hoping that Ozzie gives them a shot though. The odds of the Sox making a run to contention are extremely slim and they could easily put both players in the mix without losing much.
Flowers could easily DH when he's not subbing for A.J. Pierzynski. That would mean less playing time for Jermaine Dye and Alex Rios, but both players have been awful for some time now. Dye is hitting well below .200 with no power since the All-Star break and Rios has an on base percentage of .177 since he was acquired.
Benching Dye more regularly would make a lot of sense, especially since I can't see the Sox picking up his option for next year.
Hudson could also easily break the rotation. The Sox will be starting Carlos Torres tomorrow in Wrigley, who doesn't have anywhere near the upside that Hudson does and put way two many batters on base in his last two starts. Freddy Garcia may or may not be in the long-term plans as well.
The Sox have far more to gain by playing these two talented prospects than throwing the same guys that have contributed to this slide out on the field. If these guys can prove they're ready, the Sox will be in much better shape for the future.
They already have two solid young starters with John Danks and Gavin Floyd and a potential star at third base in Gordon Beckham. That young core could give the Sox a solid, affordable foundation to the team for several years.
Guys like Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin aren't exactly past their prime either. There's a real chance for the Sox to be the team to beat in the AL Central for the next several years.
However, you have to figure out what you have with these players first. If you continue to rotate your four struggling outfielders and your fill-ins at the back end of the rotation, you won't really know if these guys are ready to join the lineup.
The Sox don't really have anything to gain by playing their veterans at this point in the season, so they might as well give Flowers and Hudson a few chances to prove themselves.