It seems kind of funny to think the White Sox haven't won the first series of the season since 2005, especially since the Sox seem to open against the dregs of the Central every year, but it's true -- even with a frustrating loss, the Sox are in a nice, unfamiliar place at 2-1.
Better yet, the biggest concerns are the little things:
*Unsuccessful bunts: The White Sox are now 0-for-2 in giving up an out to move a runner over, but some people might see that as a good thing if it leads to fewer bunts overall.
Otherwise, everybody's healthy, the starters pitched well enough, and hey, Omar Vizquel has already matched his hit total from April 2010 with two on Sunday. He's the one essential bench player to the Sox's plans, and a good enough start will probably keep him happy with his reduced role.
Guillen's quotes on Vizquel's role were a little bit confusing:
"Teahen is going to be playing third base [as the backup]," Guillen said. "Omar was the only one without at-bats. And I'm never going to use Omar Vizquel just to use him.
"That's disrespectful. He will start games. We need him on the field. But we're going to try to get Teahen a little bit at third base."
Respect is playing a player only when it means something. Respect is also telling a player that he'll be the primary backup when everything that's been said and done up until this point has said otherwise.
Also, Rick Morrissey's wrote a column on Vizquel, and if I'm reading his conclusion correctly, I think he's saying Vizquel has stolen Cleveland's life force to maintain his own career. That's a fair trade.
Anyway, in the most important development from Sunday, Jake Peavy is still on the march:
As of Sunday, Peavy reported nothing but positive feelings in regard to his shoulder and the surgically repaired area.
"The throwing sessions and the treatments with anti-inflammatories have a lot to do with this," Peavy said.
Peavy worked the first inning out of a full windup and the next three from the stretch. He worked primarily on fastball command.
"Pitching out of the stretch is where you make your biggest pitches," Peavy said. "You want to feel comfortable in the stretch.
"There are a lot of young [Minor League] guys swinging, and I could get a lot of swings and misses. But pitching is about fastball command, and that's where it starts. Certainly, I could tell I started fatiguing in the fourth. But I did feel better than I did on Tuesday."
Peavy will make his first true rehab start with the Birmingham Barons in Montgomery on Friday night.
Christian Marrero Reading Room
I haven't done one of these things in a while, but a few random things are worth attention.
*The Yankees' Phil Hughes is battling big velocity concerns as he tries to follow up on his first full season as a starter. I point this out because the Yankees had the much-publicized "Hughes Rules" pertaining to his workload, much like the "Joba Rules" beforehand, and following these rather staunch workload guidelines haven't done much to enable either pitcher to fully develop.
Contrast it with the way the Sox let John Danks take his lumps in his rookie season. Ozzie Guillen kept his pitch count in the 90s, occasionally crossing into the very low 100s, and he started every fifth day until he lost steam in the second half of August. They skipped his start in the first week, let him go once more on Sept. 11, and when he walked four batters over 2 2/3 innings, they called it a year.
The next year, Danks added a cutter, and the rest is history. Along with Gavin Floyd (who was much more advanced in terms of workload), the Sox took two young starters and helped them get to be durable using mostly common sense and the way opposing hitters reacted to their stuff. Then again, maybe they just knew they could work with Danks and Floyd. If they could guide starters up the hill far better than other organizations, you'd think they wouldn't trade so many away.
*Speaking of starters traded away, Brandon McCarthy is great on Twitter, he has finally provided a reason against the Danks deal. Admittedly, it's not a very sturdy one, but c'mon, look at his profile picture: