The Games Must Go On - Game Preview & Lineups 4/22

While we continue to mourn and hold our collective breath after yesterday's news that Chris Sale will spend an undetermined amount of time on the disabled list, baseball games, unfortunately, must continue. And the White Sox will look to survive their first post-Sale start on Tuesday when Charlie Leesman takes the bump for the second of a four-game set against the Detroit Tigers.

For those who may have understandably missed Leesman's late-season cup of coffee with the big club during the drudgery of last season's 63-99 campaign, our friends at Future Sox have a good scouting report on what to expect.

The cliff notes of that report: Leesman's biggest problem during his career has been finding difficulty A) throwing the ball over the plate, and B) getting hitters to swing and miss. During his 15.1 innings with the White Sox last season (including one start), he walked 16 batters and struck out just 13.

Those numbers aren't exactly an outlier from his minor league numbers, either. He's walked 3.9 batters per 9 in his minor league career while striking out just 6.64, and in 17 innings with Triple-A Charlotte this season (three starts), he's walked six and struck out 11. Additionally, while Leesman is young in experience, he doesn't exactly qualify as a prospect anymore. An 11th round pick in 2008 out of Xavier, he'll enter Tuesday's start at 27 years old, a mere six days older than the author of this article (and a full year older than Clayton Kershaw, for comparison's sake).

All of this isn't to say the White Sox don't have a shot in hell against Justin Verlander tonight. John Danks' performance in Monday night's victory was yet another indicator of how unpredictable this game can be. As James noted in his recap, Danks didn't necessarily deserve to win that game, but that's exactly what happened. So going into Tuesday's Leesman-Verlander showdown — who the hell knows?

Surprisingly, for as inept as the White Sox's offense was in 2013, Verlander didn't join in on the fun. In two starts against them, he went 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA, striking out seven and walking three in 13 innings. He will, quite obviously, be the best pitcher Jose Abreu has faced during his young MLB career. So that battle should be appointment viewing.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. JorDanks – CF
  2. Semien – 3B
  3. Abreu – 1B
  4. Dunn – DH
  5. Viciedo – RF
  6. Ramirez – SS
  7. De Aza – LF
  8. Flowers – C
  9. L. Garcia – 2B

Charlie Leesman - SP

Tigers Lineup:

  1. Rajai Davis - CF
  2. Ian Kinsler – 2B
  3. Miguel Cabrera – 3B
  4. Victor Martinez – DH
  5. Torii Hunter – RF
  6. J.D. Martinez – LF
  7. Nick Castellanos – 3B
  8. Alex Avila – C
  9. Austin Romine - SS

Justin Verlander - SP

Where to Watch:

Today’s game will be broadcast on WCIU, Fox Sports Detroit+ and nationally on MLB Network. 6:08 Central start time.