Oh Good, The Royals Again – Game Preview & Lineups 5/26

The White Sox are officially floundering, right? Does their positioning at the top of the American League Central disqualify them from official floundering status? They haven’t won a series in weeks, and are coming off a pair of losses in which they burned their top two, and arguably, only reliable starting pitchers. You could waste much more time than is considered healthy trying to eye the schedule in search of the team’s next victory.

This particular attempt will be led by Miguel Gonzalez. The newest rotation addition has now racked up four starts with the White Sox, with his most successful being the most recent. After walking 10 batters in his first three appearances, Gonzalez didn’t issue a single free pass. He also struck out eight batters, a feat he’s only bested three times in his career. While this is not likely a step forward that indicates we are viewing an entirely new pitcher, it does represent an acceptable and welcome fifth starter performance, and allows us to assume a couple more starts have been purchased with it.

In 2016 Danny Duffy has established a strikeout rate 10 percent higher than what he’s shown in his two previous seasons, and has cut his walk rate by roughly two percent during that same period. This is easily explained with usage – until mid-May he was being utilized exclusively as a reliever. However, when the Sox got their first look at him in just his second start of the season, they didn’t do much to offset those short sample numbers. In four and one-third innings within a limited pitch count, the Sox had just four hits and did not work any walks in a game they would go on to lose 2-1. They’ve seen him now, and his pitch limit will likely be ticked up at least a small amount, it would be nice if he was still forcibly removed from the game prior to completing five innings for reasons of abuse.

Rumors of Jose Abreu‘s demise may have been exaggerated. He’s got a way to go before his batting line gets back to what we expect out of him, but he has collected six hits in the last two games, which has helped us feel that he looks more comfortable at the plate. His appearance to appearance perceived comfort level is generally less consistent than it is with most players of his skill level, so what comes next is anybody’s guess, but he is definitely capable of carrying the team offensively, and they kind of need to be carried right now. On the other side, the Royals injury ride goes around one more time. Already down Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas is making a return trip to the disabled list with a torn ACL.

White Sox Lineup:

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

Royals Lineup:

  1. Alcides Escober – SS
  2. Whit Merrifield – 2B
  3. Lorenzo Cain – CF
  4. Eric Hosmer – 1B
  5. Salvador Perez – C
  6. Paulo Orlando – RF
  7. Cheslor Cuthbert – 3B
  8. Brett Eibner – DH
  9. Jarrod Dyson – LF

Lead Photo Credit: Jerry Lai – USA Today Sports Images

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