Hoping for a Better John Danks - Game Preview & Lineups 5/7

After a pair of subpar outings and general blah results through six starts this season, the White Sox hope John Danks can turn things around as they go for their fourth straight victory and a series win Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs.

The strike zone has been difficult for Danks to find this season, even in his more successful outings. His K:BB on the season is 21:20 and he's only struck out more hitter than he walked in two outings — his first two of the season. Friday's loss to Cleveland was about more than missing the strike zone, however, as Indians hitters bashed him for 10 hits and eight earned runs in just five innings as his ERA jumped to 5.00 on the season.

Danks' counterpart on Wednesday will be Travis Wood, who is off to a solid start after an All-Star appearance a year ago. The lefty is coming off of a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals last Friday in which he allowed just two earned runs in seven innings. He has a K:BB of 37:7 in 37.2 IP, which doesn't exactly bode well for a White Sox lineup that has struck out 39 times over the past three games, including 13 times in Tuesday night's victory.

As is the norm with the left-handed Wood on the mound, Paul Konerko will start at DH in place of Adam Dunn, whose calf bruise doesn't appear to be too serious. Despite being a late scratch on Tuesday, Dunn came into the game late as a pinch hitter and told CSN Chicago's Dan Hayes his absence was because of his inability to play the field, something he won't have to worry about with the series shifting to U.S. Cellular Field.

"Last night I didn’t know how bad it was and today it was sore and I thought it would loosen up and it never did," Dunn said after the White Sox 5-1 win Tuesday. "I’m not going to go out there in left field and make a complete and total jackass of myself by not being able to move."

The White Sox received a bit of good news Wednesday afternoon as well, when Conor Gillaspie was activated from the DL and Jordan Danks was jettisoned back to Triple-A Charlotte. Gillaspie will be on the bench against the left-handed Wood, however, and one has to wonder if they'll begin a Gillaspie/Semien platoon at third base going forward. Semien has an OPS of .761 for his career against lefties and just .602 against righties.

The one issue this does raise is that while Adam Eaton is injured, Moises Sierra plays every day and the only backup capable of playing the outfield is Leury Garcia. Hopefully Jordan Danks' demotion means Eaton isn't far off from returning. Gordon Beckham will get his first shot in the leadoff spot on Wednesday, as well, as Robin Ventura flipped him and Alejandro De Aza in the order.

Adrian Nieto will also get the start behind the plate, as he's done in each of Danks' starts thus far.

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Gordon Beckham - 2B
  2. Alejandro De Aza - CF
  3. Jose Abreu - 1B
  4. Dayan Viciedo - LF
  5. Alexei Ramirez - SS
  6. Paul Konerko - DH
  7. Moises Sierra - RF
  8. Marcus Semien - 3B
  9. Adrian Nieto - C

John Danks - SP

Cubs Lineup

  1. Emilio Bonifacio - CF
  2. Junior Lake - LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
  4. Starlin Castro - SS
  5. Wellington Castillo - C
  6. Mike Olt - DH
  7. Luis Valbuena - 3B
  8. Darwin Barney - 2B
  9. Ryan Kalish - RF

Travis Wood - SP

Where to Watch: 7:05pm CT on WCIU and nationally on ESPN.

Follow The Catbird Seat on Twitter @TheCatbird_Seat