Currently Accepting All Offered Wins – Game Preview & Lineups 4/26

The White Sox are systematically trying to remove the layers of caution from our optimism, game by game. If they can endure Miguel Gonzalez making his first start of the season and emerge victorious, what chance do you think the Blue Jays have against Chris Sale?

Sale has given us a bit of a different look to start the season. The velocity is there when he wants it, but he’s changing speeds much more and gives the impression that he’s making an attempt to pitch to contact. He’s off to an excellent start, having only allowed seven total runs in his four starts, and walking virtually nobody. His last outing against the Angels stood out, as he went seven innings, yielding just two hits and he only struck out three batters. That last piece grabbing the most attention – he’s had starts of three or fewer strikeouts before in the past, including a two strikeout outing against the Royals last April – but none had quite the same effect, as most other instances included large amounts of hits with some free passes and a handful of long balls. The Blue Jays are not an easy team to pitch against, and last year they were the squad that ended his streak of 10-plus strikeout games. Despite that accomplishment on their end, Sale hasn’t had a great deal of trouble with them in his few appearances, and we should all be interested to see what method of destruction he chooses to dismantle with on this occasion.

Knuckleballers are a weird bunch. After leading the league in strikeouts during his Cy Young-winning season in 2012, R.A. Dickey was dealt to the Blue Jays and has yet to recapture any of that success. He’s existed since mainly as a league average pitcher, but one who follows the knuckleballer blueprint to average: superior starts mixed in with absolute junk starts. You never know what you’re going to get day-to-day with Dickey. Thus far this season, it’s been leaning towards the junk starts. He’s logged 20 innings over his four starts and the main accomplishment of that is only having allowed a single home run. Teams have found other ways to score on him, though, tallying up 14 of the earned variety to date.

The White Sox offense is showing signs of sustained life. The occasional, and often well-timed bursts that have carried them to their current 14-6 record have obviously proven to be enough in the games they’ve played, but the reality is that they are nearly dead last in the American League for offensive production, narrowly edging out the Angels. Not everybody is coming up short, five everyday players are producing at above league average rates, but the ones that are not come up well short of an acceptable performance. Most unfortunate of which is Jose Abreu, currently sporting a .223 TAv.

Kevan Smith‘s unfortunate injury prior to his MLB debut last night has landed him on the disabled list. Hector Sanchez has been called up to take his place on the roster, but hopefully Dioner Navarro experiences a day of full health and he won’t be needed this evening.

White Sox Lineup:

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

Blue Jays Lineup:

  1. Michael Saunders – LF
  2. Josh Donaldson – DH
  3. Jose Bautista – RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion – 1B
  5. Troy Tulowitzki – SS
  6. Kevin Pillar – CF
  7. Matt Dominguez – 3B
  8. Darwin Barney – 2B
  9. Josh Thole – C

Lead Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro – USA Today Sports Images

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