Another White Sox Debut - Game Preview & Lineups 4/2

Robin Ventura has stated that it’s not a straight platoon in left field, but more a matter of who has the hot hand. This instantly makes me wonder what he plans to do when neither Alejandro De Aza or Dayan Viciedo are hot but at the moment that’s a moot point, seeing as how De Aza currently sits atop the league in homeruns. Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu collected a couple of hits each in their White Sox debuts, making their names known to the casual fan and with the power of the tiniest of sample sizes the White Sox head into game 2 feeling like things could be ok.

But everything changes once you don’t have Chris Sale on the mound anymore. After some time in the off-season with the concern that the Sox would be trotting left-hander after left-hander out to the mound, they have found some dextral alternatives and the same casual fans that are waiting to punch all-star ballots for Abreu and Eaton are going to be thumbing through their programs to find out who Felipe Paulino is.  The oft-injured 30-year-old hasn’t pitched a major league inning since 2012. His last pitch came in June of that year as he exited a game without escaping the first inning having pulled his groin though it was Tommy John surgery that shelved him for the rest of the season and the next. With a handful of minor league games in 2013 to his credit and a new cutter in his possession he will attempt to put amass a workload with results to match the quality strikeout rate he’s managed during much of his sporadic career.

The Twins have the slight advantage this afternoon of not bringing such a negatively stark contrast of starting pitcher quality into game 2. That may have plenty to do with the fact that nobody on their staff is particularly breathtaking. Kevin Correia has been tasked with getting Minnesota into the win column where Ricky Nolasco has failed. Correia pitched in the Twin Cities last season, and not terribly, putting up near league average numbers without the help of many peripheral numbers to put him there other than a low walk rate and decent-enough ground ball rate.

Correia’s propensity for throwing strikes may or may not be an issue for the White Sox. They bring a reputation of being impatient into 2014 but Todd Steverson’s “selective aggressiveness” could help change things around a bit. It will be interesting to see if any free passes are managed against the Twins’ righty.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Eaton - CF
  2. Semien - 3B
  3. Abreu - 1B
  4. Dunn - DH
  5. Avisail - RF
  6. De Aza - LF
  7. Ramirez - SS
  8. Flowers - C
  9. Leury - 2B

Felipe Paulino - SP

The Conor Gillaspie batting 3rd experiment has been shelved, hopefully not just because he's got the day off, and hopefully Jose Abreu is productive enough to bat in this 3 spot for the next few years. Reports are that Gillaspie's absence is due to illness. 

Twins Lineup:

  1. Brian Dozier - 2B
  2. Joe Mauer - 1B
  3. Josh Willingham - DH
  4. Jason Kubel - LF
  5. Trevor Plouffe - 3B
  6. Oswaldo Arcia - RF
  7. Kurt Suzuki - C
  8. Aaron Hicks - CF
  9. Pedro Florimon - SS

Kevin Correia - SP


Where to Watch:

Today’s game will be broadcast on CSN and Fox Sports North. 1:10 Central start time.