The White Sox have had a great start to the season and are currently in first place by .5 games over the Indians and 6 games over the Tigers, who are a lot closer to last place than first. However, the injury bug is crawling on the South Side. At the beginning of the season, everyone seemed to agree that if the right things fall into place the team could contend this season and for the most part, that has happened.
One thing the organization can't pull through though is injuries. The team lacks depth as evidenced by their weak bench and the fact that Zach Stewart somehow still has a job in the Major Leagues.
This week has been a tough one on that front. Brent Morel aggravated his strained lumbar on Thursday and is on his way back to Chicago to undergo further testing. This means that Orlando Hudson will get the lions share of the reps down at third. The more he plays there, the more the ball seems to be finding him- which hasn't been a good thing. It's not like Hudson is ripping the cover off of the ball either. If he was we could excuse some of his miscues but that .173/.271/.250 line makes his late reactions at the hot corner even more tough to take.
Kosuke Fukudome suffered a strained oblique back on June 4th. He wasn't getting very much playing time as it was due to the hot hitting of Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios, so when he went down last Sunday and Jordan Danks was called up, it didn't seem like a big deal. After all, Danks could pinch run and replace an outfielder for defensive purposes. However, last night Viciedo had to leave with tightness in both hamstrings. Dayan says he is ok to go for Saturday, but I recently watched both Carlos Lee and Yoenis Cespedes pull up lame with hamstring injuries. If the same happens to Viciedo, and it might since hamstring injuries are tricky, we are now looking at a Jordan Danks/Brent Lillibridge platoon in the outfield on an everyday basis. Talk about a scary scene.
Paul Konerko missed a few games last week after undergoing a "wrist procedure". He has since come back and had a decent night Thursday before looking terrible on Friday. Wrists and hands are two things that can affect a hitter more than anything else. Hopefully, Konerko can shake it off and continue his outstanding season but he is obviously going to regress and this injury might just happen to speed that up. Konerko is looking at offseason surgery to get the loose bone fragment removed which will take 3-8 weeks to heal. Here is to hoping that the "flush to a less painful place" works like it did last year because if he has to miss a month or two, it's going to be tough to stay in contention.
Then you have John Danks who has been out with a sore shoulder. When he was healthy he wasn't very good, but even a not very good Danks is better than what Philip Humber and Gavin Floyd have shown lately. Jose Quintana has done a remarkable job and I am all for sticking with him until the bubble bursts, but sooner or later it will burst. Danks is supposed to throw Tuesday in Charlotte. Hopefully all goes well. If Danks isn't healthy enough to come back strong and if Floyd and Humber don't start pitching like they are capable of, it will be the 2012 version of Spahn and Sain and pray for rain. Peavy and Sale and hope for hail.
If Danks, Konerko and Viciedo all pull through healthy (something that looks like will not be happening with Morel), then our terrible depth can remain just a concern. If one or more of them are going to miss an extended period of time though, our terrible depth becomes a nightmare.
Work your magic Herm.