White Sox

First Pitch: Danks aims to ace bum tooth

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First Pitch: Danks aims to ace bum tooth

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Posted: 10:43 a.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

CLEVELAND Are statistical splits available for pitching with a sore tooth?

Sabermetricians havent busted out pitches per mouth ailment (PMA) or Sore Gum Quality Starts (SGQS), so its impossible to tell how well John Danks hurls under such circumstances.

One thing is clear: The lefthander is lights-out in April.
Danks in April: 7-6 with a 3.03 ERA, .588 OPS, 1.06 WHIP and 3.11 KBB (all but the record are career month bests).
Danks vs. the Cleveland Indians: 3-6 with a 4.95 ERA, .778 OPS, 1.29 WHIP and 2.9 KBB.
Danks at Progressive Field: 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA, .740 OPS, 1.21 WHIP and 2.78 KBB. (Yes, that means the lefty is 0-4 in his career vs. the Wahoos at U.S. Cellular Field.)
Heres how the Indians line up against Danks:

1. Michael Brantley, cf
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, ss (3-12, .500 OPS)
3. Shin-Soo Choo, rf (7-19, 1.000 OPS, five Ks)
4. Carlos Santana, 1b
5. Travis Hafner, dh (4-21, HR, three RBI, .642 OPS, five Ks)
6. Orlando Cabrera, 2b (1-3, three-run homer, 1.833 OPS)
7. Travis Buck, lf (1-4, .400 OPS)
8. Jack Hannahan, 3b (0-2, K)
9. Lou Marson, c (2-5, .971 OPS, two walks, two Ks)

Pick to click? Even coming off a four-K Saturday, you have to go with Choo. But OC wins the one-hit wonder award, with a three-run knock in three at-bats, and Marson is a spot-start pick to click.

Lanky righty Justin Masterson takes the bump vs. the White Sox, who hes pitched uncommonly well against:

Masterson in April: 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA, .731 OPS, 1.54 WHIP and 2.21 KBB.

Masterson vs. the White Sox: 1-2 with a 2.41 ERA, .639 OPS, 1.24 WHIP and 2.33 KBB.

Masterson at Progressive Field: 4-8 with a 3.03 ERA, .632 OPS, 1.23 WHIP and 2.06 KBB.
Heres how the White Sox will bat against Masterson:

1. Juan Pierre, lf (6-11, 1.161 OPS career vs. Masterson)
2. Gordon Beckham, 2b (5-9. 1.111 OPS, two Ks)
3. Adam Dunn, dh (1-2, solo HR, 2.667 OPS)
4. Paul Konerko, 1b (3-14, .639 OPS)
5. Alex Rios, cf (has faced Masterson as often as any hitter: 3-18, HR, .675 OPS, four Ks)
6. Carlos Quentin, rf (0-11, four Ks, HBP)
7. A.J. Pierzynski, c (5-14, .786 OPS, two Ks)
8. Alexei Ramirez, ss (3-14, solo homer, .741 OPS)
9. Omar Vizquel, 3b (2-8, .500 OPS)

Look for a tasty day from the top of the White Sox order.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Detroit Tigers' C.J. Cron hit by ball, needs to be helped off field

Detroit Tigers' C.J. Cron hit by ball, needs to be helped off field

A scary scene unfolded during the 4th inning of Monday’s series opener between the White Sox and Tigers.

C.J. Cron needed to be helped off the field after he got hit by a sharp ground ball while fielding at first base.

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Cron lay on the ground for several minutes after the play and limped off the field with the help of Tigers staff.

Amazingly, pitcher Daniel Norris was able to corral the ball and tag out Danny Mendick to end the inning.

Cron has been one of the Tigers’ best power hitters, tied for the team league with four home runs.


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White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

White Sox' Luis Robert not feeling pressure of Rookie of the Year hype

Of all the White Sox players this season, the spotlight has shined brightest on Luis Robert, but he says that’s not the reason for his recent five-game slump. In fact, Robert doesn’t even see himself as a new face of the franchise, despite all the hype surrounding his MLB debut and hot start to the season.

“I honestly don’t feel that way,” Robert said via team interpreter Billy Russo. “I just think that I’m the new guy.”

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It’s clear the pressure didn’t affect Robert earlier in the year as he notched at least one hit in his first six games, and racked up 14 hits through 10 games. As the impressive performances at the plate mounted, so did the buzz around the young centerfielder. But Robert insists he doesn’t think about it, even though he’s slashing a lowly .158/.200/.211 over his last five games, and out of the lineup for the first time in his career on Monday.

“I know everyone’s trying to talk about me, about my option for Rookie of the Year and that kind of stuff,” Robert said via Russo. “But for me I just feel like another guy for this team. I don’t feel that pressure, that attention. I know that it’s there, but I don’t think about that.”

So is this mini-slump due to an adjustment in the way pitchers are approaching Robert at the plate? Again, Robert says no.

“Pitchers have been attacking me the same way since the season started. I didn’t have good results the last few days, but I just have to keep working. There’s nothing different that they have done against me. It’s just a matter of results.”

Robert has shown a remarkable ability to adjust to a pitcher’s approach mid-game. Now it’s time to see how he adjusts to a little major league adversity.


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