I think Jerry Owens is stopping himself right now, with a .224 batting average and .298 on-base percentage. I think Juan Uribe's injury has allowed Ramirez to get a few at-bats on a consistent basis. It's a good audition for Alexei, who is showing a great attitude despite the lack of playing time. I think Brian Anderson is well ahead of Owens on the role of backup outfielder. Brian is the best defensive outfielder in the organization.
Bottom line: I think we'll see Jerry by September.
The line-up has been underachieving for the last three years. When do we realize that Thome is done, Konerko is angling to be a career .230 hitter with double plays his specialty. Sox continue to waste good outings, like with Danks last Tuesday. It must be crippling for a kid like Danks to lose game after game while his veteran lineup stinks up the joint. Sox got swindled on Swisher who talks it up nice but can't hit or field. Sox show their true colors, yellow. --Rick Schwartz, Los Angeles
With the Sox not playing another interleague game in a National League city until June 20, the next month should serve as a measuring stick to see if Thome and Konerko can pick up their production after the lineup was altered just before the San Francisco series. I think Konerko's hand injury is affecting his power.
As for Danks, some times it's good for a young pitcher to work with the lack of run support. I know everyone wants results now, but I think John is going to be a tougher pitcher because he's learning to pitch with no margin for error.
The Sox have had good production out of Quentin and A.J., decent production from Dye and Crede, but the others are not contributing, and Konerko, Thome, Cabrera are paid so well, I find it hard to swallow my pride and support them. They drive up the ticket prices and embarrass us. Is it true what they say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks with aging baseball players? Why is it Ozzie and Greg Walker can't get through to Jim Thome? He swings harder than anyone in baseball, his hands are so high up and misplaced. It appears he is only up there trying to hit the ball 600 feet or strike out. I find that approach selfish and he and Walker's refusal to make adequate adjustments an act of stubbornness. With Cabrera, I understand he is a .271 career hitter, but much of that is coming off a career year, so I am not expecting Tony Gwynn, but I have been extremely disappointed in his defense. I think he has been paying the official scorer all year. Who do you prefer at shortstop (not that they would ever make the change) Uribe or Carbrera? I believe Uribe has better range and a much stronger arm. What is wrong with Konerko? Is his hand a valid excuse? The starts he has gotten off to the last few years make him not worth his $12 mil per year any more. Lastly, I'd like to see Swisher or Uribe benched in favor of Anderson and Ramirez. They don't get any consistent looks, we'll never know what we could have? Thanks for taking another long question from a frustrating fan. We're frustrated you see because we had only 4 losing teams since 1990 (they were not even that bad), until last year's colossal mishap. We don't want that to happen again, especially with a $121 million payroll. --Pat, Chicago
Pat, Jim is used to hitting a certain way. Any major adjustment might have to be made in the off-season because the Sox aren't in the experimenting mode. I think Ozzie did the right thing last week in dropping him in the batting order but not taking him out of the lineup. If the results aren't there in the next few weeks, then he might have to explore other options than having Jim as the full-time DH.
Some balls have skipped by Orlando, but I've been impressed with the accuracy on his throws that we didn't see on a consistent basis from Uribe. I've seen Orlando make more plays recently than I did in spring training. As for the offense, maybe Sunday's two-homer game was a sign that he'll improve at the plate, although I don't expect that power surge. He's also had to bat leadoff more than he or the Sox envisioned.
I said earlier that I thought Konerko's hand was bothering him more, but it's probably not going to heal until the All-Star break.
Swisher will still get full-time play in the outfield and will only make room for Anderson if Konerko's hand prevents him from playing every day. The injury to Uribe will help Ramirez and the Sox, who will benefit in the long run from having Ramirez playing regularly right now.
Imagine how bad Sox would look without Quentin? He's about only player hitting at all. How long will Sox go with players like Swisher who continue to fail? --Joe Hendrickson, Rancho Cucumonga, Calif.
A.J. Pieryznski is hitting well, too. Just think, if A.J. had this start last season, he would have been selected to the 2007 All-Star game and got the return visit to San Francisco out of the way.
"We hit the lottery with him," best sums up Ozzie's description of Quentin's contributions, but Carlos can't carry this club by himself. Someone else has to step up soon.
Mark, any chance of the White Sox getting Orlando Hudson from Arizona? I realize he has a hamstring injury now, but he has had contract issues with the D-Backs and they have other options at second. --Chuck, Orland Park, Ill.
Hudson has had injuries each of the past two seasons but can field as well as any second baseman in baseball. But the Sox would have to shave some payroll to make this work this season.
I've noticed the past few years that after the Sox blow out an opponent, they lose badly the next game. Can you support this thesis, and help explain why this happens? Is Ozzie not keeping the guys focused, or do they just party too hard after a lopsided win? Also, do you think Quentin will be our lone All-Star, or could a pitcher or two go too? --Jim Vogl, Fort Collins, Colo.
I thought the Sox played one of their best games of the season on April 7 in a win over Minnesota, less than 24 hours after winning at Detroit 13-2. The 2-1 loss to Oakland after an 11-0 win over Detroit had more to do with the pitching of Oakland's Greg Smith than any alleged letdown. The 5-0 loss at Tampa on April 19 following a 9-2 win had more to do with a rundown breakdown and one bad inning by Mark Buehrle. I don't think the players were overlooking that game to watch the wrestling matches that followed after the game, although I got a laugh out of A.J. making fun of the way that Brian Knobbs of "The Nasty Boys" threw the ceremonial first pitch.