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Left behind

Perhaps the White Sox most glaring weakness has been their susceptibility to left-handed pitching. They're a scant 1-game above .500 against left-handed starters this season, and that includes an 8-game winning streak that featured Pablo Ozuna hitting like Ty Cobb. This deficiency is amplified by the fact that nobody has faced more left-handed pitching this season than the White Sox. They've seen 41 of their first 100 games started by lefties, with Minnesota and Cleveland being second at 38. That trend continues tonight with another lefty, and one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, Erik Bedard on the mound.

In a division filled with good-to-great left-handed pitching, the Sox, more than any other team in baseball, need to find a lineup that gives them the best opportunity to win against southpaws.

Part of the reason we've struggled so much against lefties has been our top 3 of Pods/Iguchi/Thome. They've combined to hit just .234 against southpaws, with only Thome maintaining an OBP above .300 against them. Ozzie needs to squash the 1-2-3 that hits like 7-8-9 against lefties.

Ozzie did a good job recognizing the offensive upgrade that Ozuna provided over Podsednik, but hasn't recognized the same upgrade that Alex Cintron or a healthy Ozuna provides over Iguchi. The next step is to get Thome out of the #3 spot against lefties. His OBP is acceptable, but he's never posted an OPS that looks like a #3 hitter against lefties. I'd move Jermaine Dye up to the third spot and shift Thome down a step

Ideally, the Sox would have a real 4th outfielder to spot Podsednik against lefties, but that would obviously require a trade, and perhaps be the end of Ross Gload's tenure on the south side.

Another idea would be to have Ozuna/Cintron in the leadoff spot against LHP, and have Crede hitting #2, with JD 3rd, and so on.

If the Sox have any hopes at a winning the wild card, they're going to have to scratch and claw their way to victory more than 50% of the time against lefties. A line-up shakeup is the first step in that process.