The White Sox put their hitting shoes on yesterday and beat Yu Darvish to move back to 1.5 games up on the Detroit Tigers for first place in the A.L. Central. It was a good night. It very easily could have been a tragic night. The Sox escaped major injury for the second game in a row.
On Wednesday afternoon, it was Dayan Viciedo who made an ugly dive in left field. Viciedo landed awkwardly on his wrist and did a face plant into the ground. Fortunately, Viciedo was able to stay in the game. On Friday evening, Paul Konerko got hit by yet another pitch in his hand. He shook it off and went down to first base without further incident. Then on a pop up to shallow center, Alexei Ramirez and Alejandro De Aza crashed into each other sending both men to the floor.
My heart skipped a beat. At that very moment, any hope the White Sox had at making (and performing well) in the playoffs could have been dashed. De Aza has done a remarkable job in center field and at the plate for the Sox this year. Ramirez hasn't been very good with the bat, but still contributes on offense and his glove is one of the best in the business. Losing either one of them might deliver the Sox playoff chances a fatal blow.
Over the last two games of near catastrophe, it became pretty evident that the White Sox need someone on the bench that can play. Jordan Danks, Eduardo Escobar and Orlando Hudson (yes he is still on the team) aren't enough to get the job done.
I've come up with a list of a three names that might be a solid acquisition to address the bench/depth needs.
Scott Hairston - The Mets are hanging on for dear life at 7.5 games out of both the NL East and the Wild Card. Hairston has shown some pop this year with 12 homers and 16 doubles in 220 at bats. He also has played all outfield positions. He is a free agent after the year.
Will Venable - The Padres right fielder has an OPS+ of 100 after 294 plate appearances. He isn't a spectacular player, but he is the type of guy that could come in and fill in for an extended period of time if needed and not be an automatic out. He also would bring a left handed bat to the table.
Reed Johnson - The Cubs 35 year old veteran is hitting well in his limited opportunities again this year at .305/.346/.451. He isn't going to kill you on defense and could do a pretty decent job in short spurts if needed to fill in. It probably wouldn't cost a whole bunch to have him come about 8 miles south.
With Marco Scutaro being traded to the Giants last evening, the list of available infield names is not a very exciting one. Unless you consider Willie Bloomquist or Jeff Baker exciting. You can find some decent outfielders though. I think it would behoove Kenny to bring in one of the three guys mentioned above.
It also became pretty clear last night (if it wasn't already) that the Sox could really use another starter. Unfortunately, the big name guys are going to cost more than Kenny can offer. So while I'll sit back on Tuesday and hope to hear that James Shields, Ryan Dempster or Felix Hernandez are on their way to the Sox, that likely isn't going to happen.
Something that could possibly happen though, is a trade for Edinson Volquez, Joe Saunders or Joe Blanton. While none of them are real sexy names, each of them is someone that has the ability to throw a good game for you and eat up some innings, which is something the White Sox need.
With Chris Sale losing 5 MPH on his fastball last night, Jose Quintana entering unchartered territory as far as workload goes and Gavin Floyd, Philip Humber and John Danks all spending time on the DL this season, another starter would be very welcomed. When your workhorse is only a couple of months out of being called the "Glass Bulldog", some kind of move for a starter has to be made.
It should be a pretty interesting couple of days. I look forward to following twitter at the deadline and driving my wife and kids crazy.