Hey Look It's Paul Konerko! - Game Preview & Lineups 4/5

At 2-2, the rationalizations start. 2-1, and you still feel pretty good. Two wins every three games the whole year through puts you in play come October. 2-2 and you’re a loss away from dropping below .500, and who knows for long. Then you think about difficulty of opponent, but you have to shake your head and not think about it, because it’s not good for your overall game attitude and let's face it, it's a long season.

The hitting has been there, but the pitching has yet to come together in full. Every trip into the pen is getting dangerously close to dragging viewers through regular bouts of anxiety. It is early though, the same early that makes a team that probably isn’t very good win a couple of games to start the season can make a team with bullpen trouble have a perfectly functional bullpen in just a few more games.

Today’s starter will of course hope to stall the bullpen’s opportunity to prove itself. John Danks has enough to prove all on his own. Now a full year removed from the shoulder surgery that shelved him Danks is working behind the hope that regained arm strength will push his performance up to more closely resemble that which earned him his current 5 year deal. His spring showed some decent results, for whatever that’s worth but making his way through a lineup of actual major leaguers is a serious test right now.

Bruce Chen, or “Cy” as he’s been jokingly tagged by Hawk Harrelson, doesn’t have quite the track record against the White Sox that most would have you believe. He’s been decent in his career against the Southsiders, posting a 3.57 ERA, but it falls well short of extraordinary and the fact of the matter is the White Sox haven't been an offensive juggernaut for quite some time. He’s also 36 and the Sox lineup has enough turnover and new faces that past performance against laundry is hardly of note.

A couple of new looks to the starting lineup. Paul Konerko and Dayan Viciedo unsurprisingly get their first starts against the left handed Chen, as does young catcher Adrian Nieto. The surprise is who Viciedo replaces. Avisail Garcia, who has had a terrible start to the season both at the plate and in the field is being given the day off.

Today’s Lineup:

  1. Eaton – CF
  2. Semien – 2B
  3. Abreu – 1B
  4. Viciedo - RF
  5. Gillaspie – 3B
  6. Konerko - DH
  7. De Aza – LF
  8. Ramirez – SS
  9. Nieto – C

John Danks - SP

Royals Lineup:

  1. Nori Aoki – RF
  2. Omar Infante – 2B
  3. Eric Hosmer – 1B
  4. Billy Butler – DH
  5. Alex Gordon – LF
  6. Salvador Perez – C
  7. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  8. Lorenzo Cain – CF
  9. Alcides Escobar - SS

Bruce Chen - SP

Where to Watch:

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