clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Gamethread: White Sox at Royals

The South Siders look to right the ship at the same time Johnny Cueto looks to extend his MLB career ... maybe both will move in the right direction?

Johnny Cueto has been waiting for his MLB opportunity all year. It is finally time.
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

After dropping three of four to the New York Yankees, the White Sox travel to Kansas City for a rare, five-game series. Though, Andrew Vaughn is hitting ninth, and all optimism seems to go away pretty quick.

At least the first three up to bat still make sense, with Tim Anderson leading off. TA is having his best offensive year so far, and besides the fact he needs to in order to offset his awful defense, he is the definition of locked-in at the plate. The strikeouts are way down, to 12%, and that has helped him get a hit in all but two games this month.

On the hill, for the first time in a White Sox uniform, is good ol’ Johnny Cueto. Last year with the San Francisco Giants, Cueto had a 4.08 ERA and a FIP right there to match. He certainly is not the pitcher he used to be, with his fastball velocity down a couple of ticks, but with the lack of starting depth, the Sox needed to give him a chance.

In four Charlotte starts, Cueto’s strikeout numbers were up, but he did not really go long in any game. The last time out he went 5 13 innings, which was his longest outing in Triple-A. He should not be expected to go more than six tonight, even if he is cruising. Cueto had two good starts and two bad ones in Triple-A, so that’s what his 5.17 ERA really came down to.

The weekend was not good for the White Sox, but at least it wasn’t as bad as it was for Kansas City’s hitting coach, who was fired this morning.

Here is the first K.C. lineup without their hitting coach. The firing is odd, though, coming off of a series where they scored 14 runs and eight runs.

Brad Keller will be on the bump today, and he is coming off of a bad start against the Texas Rangers where he allowed five runs over 5 23 innings. However, he did pitch against the sox on April 28 and threw seven innings with just one run allowed. So hopefully, that guy who pitched in Texas will be around today.

On the offensive side, Vaughn as the No. 9 hitter probably looks worse than Whit Merrifield leading off with his 32 wRC+, but it is close. Oh, to be a former St. Louis Cardinals manager and make out lineup cards! It probably should be Andrew Benintendi leading off, because he has been their best hitter this year, with a 132 wRC+ to back it up.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CT. You can watch the game locally on NBC Sports Chicago or listen to the call on ESPN 1000 AM.