A possible sweep and lots of roster news – Lineups & Preview 4/24

For the White Sox, things are the best they have been in a long time. They’re 12-6, the clubhouse is humming and happy, despite unprecedented levels of Spring tumult, and they are one game away from sweeping a Rangers team that still has World Series potential, and is still tied for first place in the AL West even after two losses this weekend.

And yet Sunday morning is all about change.

Kevan Smith is here, called up to replace Alex Avila, who was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring injury. Dioner Navarro is functionally the starting catcher with Smith as his backup, rather than the timeshare Avila and Navarro operated in previously.

“It’s a good opportunity for him,” Ventura said of Smith, “He’s been doing well down there. I trust what our guys have seen down there of [Smith]. He won’t get as much playing time as [Navarro] but he’s going to be playing.”

More mysteriously, Monday’s starter at Toronto is now “to be announced,” and Chris Sale has been pushed to Tuesday. John Danks had previously been pushed behind Sale, but now his rotation status is a little bit up in the air. Robin denied that he was hurt, but refused to elaborate. The Sox are on a 19 games in 19 days stretch, so a spot start mixed in makes sense to keep arms fresh, but the silence on Danks is attention-grabbing. More should be know about his status in the next 24 hours, but he has really struggled in his first three starts and even his first quality outing of the year in Thursday saw him stuck in the high 80s with his fastball while he walked five.

Erik Johnson has been here all week, and is a logical candidate to get a spot start before being optioned, but Miguel Gonzalez has cruised in Charlotte in two starts (2.45 ERA, 10 strikeouts and two walks in 11 innings). Maybe whoever has their passport in order will be the tiebreaker.

Avisail Garcia is out of the lineup Sunday in favor of lefty-masher Jerry Sands against Texas lefty Derek Holland. Garcia is down to a .202 TAv on the year with a 31-percent strikeout rate, after an 0-for-4 day Saturday that featured a couple of hideous at-bats. Despite all of this negative attention, Ventura deflected the idea of demoting him again.

“Confidence in the kid is what’s keeping him here,” Ventura said. “I think he can help us here.”

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Adam Eaton – RF
  2. Tyler Saldino – SS
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. Todd Frazier – 3B
  5. Melky Cabrera – LF
  6. Brett Lawrie – 2B
  7. Jerry Sands – DH
  8. Dioner Navarro – C
  9. Austin Jackson – CF

SP – Mat Latos

Rangers Lineup:

  1. Rougned Odor – 2B
  2. Nomar Mazara – RF
  3. Adrian Beltre – 3B
  4. Prince Fielder – DH
  5. Ian Desmond – CF
  6. Mitch Moreland – 1B
  7. Elvis Andrus – SS
  8. Ryan Rua – LF
  9. Brett Nicholas – C

SP – Derek Holland

Sunday’s game is on CSN at 1:10pm CT.

Lead Photo Credit: Mike Dinovo // USA Today Sports Images

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