The White Sox are currently on a three-game losing streak, and are turning to 1-start Ace Scott Carroll to stop the bleeding. It will be interesting to see what sort of outing they get from the 29-year old rookie.
As was to be expected, even in Carroll's debut gem where he soundly defeated David Price, he did not miss bats. Out of 100 pitches, Rays hitters swung 38 times and only missed twice. For someone to succeed without striking hitters out, they have to force a lot of grounders - something Carroll did successfully against Tampa (63.6 GB%).
There is reason to be optimistic he can keep getting grounders, but there's also danger that he got a bit lucky in his last start. Here's the heat map based on frequency of where he threw his pitches.
This is inconclusive to me. The location he seems to be most comfortable throwing to is high to the arm side. That's great if you're trying to induce weak contact from right-handed hitters. It's also great if you want to get annihilated by lefties. Were all of these pitches up to the arm side just jamming righties?!
Nope! Scott Carroll looks like he throws upper-80s while trying to get some sink on it. Up and out over the plate is not where you want to put it. If you can hit 96 maybe you can make that a thing, but that's not really an option for Carroll. I was interested to see he only threw one change up, and 79 fastballs. But if he got away with it against the Rays, who so far have a team wRC+ of 108, tied with the White Sox for 4th best in the majors, then perhaps he can get away with it against Cleveland's 95 wRC+. Although you wouldn't know it from last night - especially with Carlos Santana waking up.
It looked like his curve had pretty good movement on it - the question is whether he can throw it for strikes early in order to get batters to chase.
The White Sox go against the familiar Justin Masterson - destroyer of righties and inducer of grounders. If the grounders find holes, great, if not, it could be a very anemic showing for White Sox hitters. The fact that lefties are the way to beat Masterson makes it that much more disappointing that Adam Eaton suffered a hamstring injury last night.
The winner of today's game may simply come down to where the grounders go.
White Sox Lineup:
- Alejandro De Aza - LF
- Gordon Beckham - 2B
- Jose Abreu - 1B
- Adam Dunn - DH
- Dayan Viciedo - RF
- Alexei Ramirez - SS
- Jordan Danks - CF
- Tyler Flowers - C
- Marcus Semien - 3B
Scott Carroll, SP
Remember the good old days of De Aza and Beckham at the top of the lineup? They're back for the foreseeable future!
- Michael Bourn - CF
- Nick Swisher - 1B
- Michael Brantley - LF
- Carlos Santana - C
- Lonnie Chisenhall - 3B
- Asdrubral Cabrera - SS
- Jason Giambi - DH
- David Murphy - RF
- Jose Ramirez - 2B
Justin Masterson, SP
Nothing gives away that the Indians want to see how Carroll can attack lefties like Chisenhall hitting fifth or Giambi playing at all.
Where to Watch: 6:05pm CT on WGN
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