I ended up discussing a bunch of White Sox player’s in today’s piece (and even a Cubs’ one). Don’t worry if you aren’t a fan of Chicago baseball though as I also made sure to touch on some non-Windy City events as well.
Jose Contreras was sent to the minors after looking pitiful in six starts this season during which time he went 0-5 with a 8.19 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP. He also struck out no one (5.16 K/9) while walking everyone (4.85 BB/9). The only shock here is that he wasn’t removed from the rotation sooner. If you bought in to his hot spring, well, you should have listened to your truly who told you this would happen. By the way, the other washed up returning starting pitcher for club, Bartolo Colon, has been serviceable for those of you in AL-only leagues going 2-3 with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Of course, his K/BB is awful 1.92, and his average fastball is just 89 mph (92.5 for his career). I would be worried about the bottom falling out there as well.
Bobby Jenks sent a message to the Rangers’ Ian Kinsler on Sunday when he fired a fastball behind Kinsler. “You don’t want to see anyone getting hurt. My intentions were not to hurt the guy, like I said before, but I was protecting my guys as well.” The White Sox apparently are tired of their hitters being hit as they have been plunked 16 times this season, the fifth highest total in the majors (they have been hit by a pitch 331 times since the start of 2004 while their pitchers have only hit 270 batters). I love Jenks for standing up for his guys, but really, what does it serve to say what he did to the press? The only thing he will likely be serving is a suspension being that he admitted to throwing at Kinsler. That brings up another point – since when did throwing at a guy deserve a suspension? If that was the case back when the game was played by men, how many times would Bob Gibson have been suspended? He may never have pitched a single complete game (he amazingly threw 255 in 528 starts) if today’s rules were in effect when his menacing presence was terrorizing hitters in the 1960′s and 70′s.
Watch out for the Angels who are just half a game behind the Rangers in the AL West. The club sits about in the middle of the back in the pitching categories, but they are about to get all kinds of healthy with John Lackey and Ervin Santana likely to join the club by the end of the week. Playing .533 ball without your two best starters is certainly something. If you add into that mix two of the top-20 starting pitchers in the American League, well, you’ll have to feel pretty good about things if you cheer along with the Rally Monkey and the Angels.
Derrek Lee’s neck injury isn’t career threatening. That was the report out of the Chicago Tribune. Look, any injury to someone’s neck is extremely serious, but was the club really so concerned about Lee and his bulging disc that they thought he might have to hang up his spikes? If so, they sure did a good job of making it sound like he was merely missing a few days to rest things. He should avoid the DL and be back by mid-week according to the latest reports.
Lastings Milledge suffered a broken finger at Triple-A, an injury that will obviously remove the possibility of returning to the bigs in May, not that he deserved to be considered for a promotion anyway. Milledge is hitting only .253 in 79 at-bats as he had failed to go deep once while knocking in only four runners. Lastings did steal six bags but with an OPS of .594 it was clear that he clearly hadn’t taken the demotion as a chance to prove everyone in Washington wrong. Now it looks like a return before the end of June seems unlikely.
J.R. Towles has been sent back to the minors as the Astros are ready to activate Humberto Quintero. Towles hit only .182 with the club this year, but he was only given 11 at-bats behind Ivan Rodriguez. At some point, don’t the ‘Stros need to move this guy? Towles was hitting .344 in Triple-A this year, is just 25 years old, and owns a .302 average and .866 OPS in more than 1,100 minor-league ABs. Certainly someone can find a backup job for a bat like that behind the dish can’t they?
By Ray Flowers