RECORDS: White Sox 1-2 Cleveland 1-2
FIRST PITCH: 3:10 Monday, 12:10 Wednesday
TV: WGN Monday, NBCSN Chicago Wednesday
Ivan Nova vs. Mike Clevinger
Carlos Rodon vs. Corey Kluber
Probable Sox Lineup
1. Leury Garcia (S) CF
2. Yoan Moncada (S) 3B
3. Jose Abreu (R) DH
4. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
5. Eloy Jimenez (R) LF
6. Daniel Palka (L) RF
7. Tim Anderson (R) SS
8. James McCann (R) C
9. Yolmer Sanchez (S) 2B
Probable Indians Lineup
You really wouldn’t want to spend any more time in Cleveland than you have to, and the White Sox will have that bonus for this trip to the shores of Lake Erie. The Sox are there for only two matinees, split up by a day off, before returning to the Southside on Thursday. This also is not a bad time to catch The Erie Warriors, as Francisco Lindor
is still having ankle-knack and doesn’t look like he’ll be playing in this twofer. It’s actually unclear when Franky will suit up, as he didn’t make a proper spring training appearance either. And without him, boy does this lineup look short. We’ll get to that in a sec.
The White Sox will show off their new toy in Ivan Nova this afternoon. Nova was actually all right in Pittsburgh, being something of a “guy-plus” at the back end of their rotation. The worry is that his fly-ball rate was climbing each year in The Confluence, which you can get away with in PNC Park a little better than you can on the Southside. Have to wait on that, but Nova’s strike-heavy ways will fit in nicely in a rotation that still has wayward sons like Rodon and Giolito (though not based on yesterday). Nova attempted to feature a change-up more last season, giving him a third pitch, which is probably his best path to being something more than a seat-filler.
For Cleveland, they started the year in Minneapolis and managed all of five runs in three games, which looks like it might be a problem for them all season even when Lindor is around. They’ve always had a subpar outfield, and now it’s been stripped of Michael Brantley
. Hanley Ramirez
, staving off the taxidermist, is here to DH and make you feel good about your foot speed. Carlos Santana
has gotten back to where he once belonged after a tepid detour to Philadelphia that only managed to sink one fantasy team of mine. He might be an improvement on Yonder Alonso
, who was there last year. And they’re going to need it, because the lineup looks like it’s Jose Ramirez
, Lindor, and him and then a big pile of goo.
As always at The Jake, it’s about the rotation. Champion Shithead Of The World Trevor Bauer
might actually be the best here, as Corey Kluber starts to alligator wrestle with time and the odometer. Which only means his ERA might, might get above 3.00 this year. Carlos Carrasco
continues to fill out the “Oh right they have him too!” role, and that says something when you’re talking about a pitcher who has struck out 10 hitters per nine innings the past three seasons he’s been healthy. Mike Clevinger makes for a hell of a fourth starter, and certainly the best flow of any #4 in the league.
The pen isn’t the monster it used to be. Both Cody Allen
and his decline, as well as Andrew Miller
have fucked off to greener pastures. In their place is Brad Hand
‘s Rad Band, ghost of Cubs’ rebuild past Neil Ramirez
, the seemingly undead Dan Otero
, and a few other rotational names and faces who come in and throw 30 pitches per week at high velocity. Terry Francona
has a way of maximizing these kinds of things, it’s just not the end-your-day unit it used to be.
This is probably Cleveland’s last hurrah as the given champ of the division. They’ve already been listening to offers for Kluber in their constant poor-crying state, and Captain Shithead is one more year away from free agency and could find himself on the block next winter too. There isn’t much in the system ready to arrive, and one day the Twins or the Sox are going to get it right, you’d think. The rotation is almost certainly pennant-worthy. It’s the rest that’s questionable.
Hit those share buttons! They’re gonna take our thumbs!