Tonights start for Philip Humber is a big one. It will be his first since July 17th when he gave up 4 runs in 5 2/3 innings against the Tigers. The start previous to that he gave up 6 in 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Twins. In the beginning of the season everyone thought that Humber would eventually come back down to earth. He didn't, until that Twins start. Now that the White Sox have dealt Edwin Jackson and the 6 man rotation is gone, Humber needs to prove the first half wasn't a fluke. His first test is tonight against a hot hitting Red Sox team. Humber dominated the Red Sox for 7 innings back on May 31st. That day he ended up allowing 4 runs (although 2 of his runs scored on a homer by David Ortiz that Will Ohman gave up) in 7 2/3 in a 10-4 Sox romp of the Carmines. The Sox felt comfortable enough with Humber in the rotation that they deemed it ok to send Jackson packing. Hopefully Humber rewards them with a solid effort tonight.
There is also a chance for Alex Rios to answer Kenny Williams challenge this evening. He is in the lineup tonight vs. lefty Jon Lester. As some have pointed out, Rios' splits against lefties are at least mediocre this year: .287/.306/.351. Hopefully he can still be of some value against tough lefties that De Aza would certainly have trouble with.
The trade deadline looms tomorrow afternoon. With Hunter Pence now on the Phillies, you would think that some teams will be coming hard for Carlos Quentin. Apparently the Braves and Red Sox are both interested in his services. Matt Thornton has also been drawing interest from a few teams. It should be interesting to see what moves, if any, Kenny decides to pull off.
The move I would like to see them make is acquiring the services of Aramis Ramirez for the last 2 months of the season. I think Ramirez would be a welcomed addition to a lineup that has struggled to produce runs. Ramirez has been one of the hottest hitters in the league and is trying to earn another hefty contract, so he definitely motivated to produce. Word is that he doesn't want to be traded, but you would think that being traded 7 miles wouldn't be all that big of a deal. Maybe he really hates the Dan Ryan... I know I do.
Frank Thomas is being honored on Sunday afternoon with a statue on the left field concourse. I am excited to see what the statue is going to look like. After all, US Cellular Field can easily be given the nickname "The House that Hurt Built". Here is an article I wrote about Thomas when he announced his retirement.
I have liked what I've seen from the Sox in the last week. They may have fought off a fire sale in winning 3 of their last 4. I still think they are the class of the division and will eventually represent the A.L. Central in the playoffs, but a couple more losses last week and I have no doubt that they would have dumped some big names. Lets keep it up!