As seems to happen every year around this time, the struggling White Sox surge towards respectability has coincided with the annual trip through the National League, and specifically the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, now losers of eleven straight. I might compliment the Sox on their recent streak, winning 7 of their last 8 if it wasn't for the competition. It's sad to say, but this weekend's series with the Washington Nationals is a better barometer than games against the Cubs at Pirates.
While the Sox appear to be a team headed back in the right direction -- the starting pitching has been especially good over the last 10 games -- they're still a flawed team making questionable decisions. Jake Peavy was scratched from Thursday's game with fluid in/on his shoulder, but swears he'll be fine with rest and is scheduled to start Saturday. But the most obvious problem with the Sox, the one that was plainly obvious from the day the roster was constructed, lies in their lack of competent major league bats. The Sox finally did something to remedy that following Thursday's game by calling up Dayan Viciedo.
Sure, Viciedo has hit .300 in each of the last two months at AAA, and has demonstrated some of the pop that was promised upon his $10M signing, but his woeful 52-to-8 K/BB ratio speaks volumes about his MLB readiness. I'm actually much more bullish on Viciedo than Larry and other prospect gurus, but it's clear that Viciedo needs to refine his approach with considerable more minor league time.
Yet the White Sox seem to think that rushing a kid who has no position and no defensive upside is the answer to their offensive troubles. I'm sure Greg Walker can help him ease right into a Major League approach at the plate.