I’m going to open this by disclosing that I am not a big fan of either Quentin or Jackson.
Quentin, in my opinion, had one good year in ’08, and has hardly been able to contribute much to the team besides power since. I tend to view him as one of the more overrated players on the Sox squad. As for Jackson, my initial reaction to the trade for him was, “Why?” and I still have not been able to warm to him. What he showed us last season was decent, but not enough to convince me he was better than the younger and cheaper arm of Dan Hudson.
But it seems that Quentin and Jackson aim to change the minds of skeptics like me. Already with an AL Player of the Week award in his hand, Q is leading the ChiSox hitters in almost every category, with his .458 batting average 5th among major league players with a minimum of 15 at-bats. Jackson must know how much I love strikeouts, as he leads MLB with 20 K’s. John Danks has the second-most K’s on the White Sox. He has struck out…eight batters.
I’m liking the look of these 4-2 Sox, even though it is very very early. I wish MLB.com still had that tool where you could see where your team was this time last season, because I would love to compare. All I remember is that we got off to an abysmal start…I guess I prefer not to remember the rest.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading these past few months! I made the Leaders’ List for the first time at No. 47, and am honored to have that kind of readership. I’m really glad to be an active part of the MLBlogs community 🙂
What a surprise…more snow. I look out my window and see a gray sky and more of this white slush. I need to move to Florida.
However, in my head this is a countdown keeping me sane. Yes, it’s that time of year again, and in 5 days, ChiSox pitchers and catchers will descend on Glendale, Ariz. to begin their run at the AL Central crown.
Yes, you read that above sentence correctly. The same White Sox who rolled over down the stretch last season will be playing in October, mainly due to the pitching staff. Don’t get me wrong, I have complete faith that Gordon Beckham will not face a sophomore slump and that PK can make this a year to remember, but they certainly do not boast the best lineup in baseball. However, I will make a strong argument that they have one of the best 1-2 pitching punches around. Discounting SF’s Lincecum-Cain and Boston’s Beckett-Lester (in my opinion, putting Lackey in the #2 spot is a mistake, but I digress), who tops Peavy-Buehrle? New York’s Sabathia-Burnett? I’m not going to go as far to say that Peavy is better than Sabathia, but if Peavy can perform like he did in his three starts at last season’s end (3-0, 1.35 ERA), we might have ourselves an argument.
As for Mark Buehrle…everyone feels the need to remind me of his collapse after the perfecto, as if that didn’t pain me too along with all other ChiSox fans everywhere. I will continue to argue that MB is a low-key guy, and the fanfare in Chicago (Mark Buehrle Day? Really?) overwhelmed him. More importantly, I will point to his first half stats, when he made the All-Star team with a spiffy 10-3 record. We all know what MB is capable of, and with all reminders of his perfecto pretty much gone (though I would suggest to the webmasters at whitesox.com that the link to his perfect game highlights should be removed…It was nearly 7 months ago. No one cares anymore.) I’m looking forward to seeing him in the All-Star game once more.
Backing up those two are John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Freddy Garcia. Personally, I favor Dan Hudson over Garcia, but I think Freddy’ll be fine for now. Danks and Floyd are solid third and fourth starters, and with a better bullpen behind them, their win totals should significantly improve. Which leads me to ah, the bullpen. Still not totally confident here, though I do like the addition of JJ Putz. I think that the addition of him significantly improved the middle relief corps, taking the load off of Matt Thornton. As for Jenks, I’m hoping some of Ozzie’s insults got to him and he lost some of the pounds (not to mention shaved that hideous goatee. Won’t help his pitching at all, but may make him look slightly less…AJ-ish. The less bleached hair on a team, the better). He belongs in the closer’s elite, where he looked to be heading before last season.
Only five more days, five more days, five more days…