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The lesson of Carlos Quentin

The departure of Carlos Quentin brought back a lot of great memories, and my favorite is his performance against John Lackey on May 25, 2008.

Lackey went the distance and shut down everybody not named Carlos Quentin, but that still wasn't good enough. Quentin went 3-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch, a single, and two homers drove in all three runs in a 3-2 White Sox victory.

In front of a national audience, Quentin pushed his OPS over 1.000 (.304/.416/.607), and while his OPS would return to the land of triple digits for good two games later, he never came close to tailing off.

It's funny to think about it now, because in 2008, everybody figured Quentin would start the year in Charlotte. He was coming off surgery and there was no natural spot for him on the roster, so unless Quentin dominated the spring, he would probably lurk in Triple-A as outfield depth, which sounds familiar.

A small tear in Jerry Owens' right adductor forced Quentin into the picture, and he ended up being the difference-maker in a division-winning season, even if he wasn't around for the end of it.

Now, contrast Quentin's explosive emergence to the way the White Sox kept Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo under wraps for most of the season. All were well-regarded prospects before injuries got in the way. When Quentin was healthy, the Sox were forced to give him a chance to run with, and Quentin made the most of it. Although he never reached that level again, he became a fixture in the outfield for three more seasons.

De Aza found a way to stay healthy, played out of his mind when given the chance while veteran imports fell flat on their face. And so far this winter, the White Sox media has spent an awful lot of time thinking of ways to replace him.


Coco Crisp, rumored to be signing soon, fits w/#whitesox, who spent weekend clearing salary. Does KW trust Alejandro de Aza?
Jan 03 via Mobile WebFavoriteRetweetReply