Miguel Cabrera To Play, Verlander To Start Tonight Vs. White Sox

Cleveland and Chicago had an odd year against each other. The Tribe won five of the first six while the White Sox won five of the last six. In between, the Indians and White Sox split six games for a 9-9 season series.

However, Owens didn’t show that ability to get on base in his 2007 stint in the majors (.324 OBP) and in 2008 in the minors (.346 OPB). Castillo’s OBPs in the minors: .371, .419, .411, .425, .403, .471. While it’s tough to expect anyone to match up to those gaudy numbers, the fact that Owens’ career OBP numbers in the minors (.365, .393, .333, .361, .348) struggle to come at least close to those numbers with consistency should have been a red flag for the organization.

Assists: The Tigers had 1,668 assists in 2010, which ranked them ninth in the majors. The Cardinals were first with 1,872 assists, and the Giants were last with 1,485. The top ten teams in assists were the Cardinals, Indians, Braves, Twins, Rockies, Athletics, Blue Jays, Phillies and Tigers.

I suppose Quentin may actually be a slightly better choice at No. 3, but all things considered, Rios is fine for the three hole. The book says a team’s No. 3 hitter should actually be filled by its fifth-best hitter, and Rios is right in that range. Mainly, it’s good Konerko’s production won’t be wasted on hitting third-he’s much better suited to hit fifth behind Dunn.

If the second lefty can remain seated for an entire fortnight, it stands to reason that there will be even less use for a third lefty. And if Sergio Santos maintains his significant reverse splits, Ohman would actually be the fourth guy you’d want to see against a lefty.

Even more concerning is the fact that Chicago has now scored a total of two runs in those three losses after averaging 4.1 runs a game this year. Pitching has also been an issue as the team’s ERA has climbed to 4.07, ranking it ninth in the AL. Left-hander John Danks will get the start in this one for the sale jerseys. He is 2-8 this season with a 4.54 ERA but has managed to win his last two outings by giving up a total of two earned runs in 15 innings pitched.

Cleveland, which saw its season-best 7-game win streak snapped on Saturday, had six different relief pitchers go a single inning each after Germano (0-3) went the first two, giving up five runs on seven hits with two strike outs.

Series Preview: White Sox @ Rays

Detroit’s offense is significantly more potent so far thus season, scoring 41 runs, second in the majors. Chicago has put up just 24 runs, but still remains only a half game back of the Tigers.

Seeing as both starters have had relative success against either club, it wouldn’t be surprising to the series decided by the bullpen- which on paper Chicago decidedly has the upper hand.

The sale jerseys have a trio of hurlers that could provide much needed help, but the ,000 question remains – do the sale jerseys want to bump up youngsters Stephen McCray, Scott Snodgress and/or Erik Johnson from the 16-10 Double-A Birmingham Barons to a foundering Knights club?

The batting order starts with center fielder and speedster Juan Pierre who scored 96 runs in 2010. White Sox fans hope that second baseman Gordon Beckham will improve on his first two years in the majors. The talent is certainly there for Beckham to improve on last years . 252 avg., 9 home runs, 49 RBI line. Right fielder Alex Rios had a solid year last season, hitting . 284 with 21 homeruns, 88 runs batted in and 34 stolen bases.

He pitched into the sixth inning, giving up four total runs (two unearned). By the time he left the game, Texas led 4-3, but the Cardinals scored in the inning to tie the game. Texas took the lead in the top of the seventh but eventually lost the game in the 11th.

So, two things to watch for with Owens this spring: if he’s able to hit the ball with authority and if he’s able to be patient and get on base a lot. If he can’t do those two things, he still may win the starting centerfield job, but he won’t be any kind of a long-term solution.

Assists: The Tigers had 1,668 assists in 2010, which ranked them ninth in the majors. The Cardinals were first with 1,872 assists, and the Giants were last with 1,485. The top ten teams in assists were the Cardinals, Indians, Braves, Twins, Rockies, Athletics, Blue Jays, Phillies and Tigers.

I consider myself to be not just a huge baseball fan but a traditionalist as well. However, I fail to see how implementing instant replay into Major league baseball will hurt the game. What’s important is that if Major League Baseball decides to go ahead and use instant replay the league mandates when the system can and cannot be used and then sticks to it. If I were commissioner (and God knows I should be) I would bring instant replay into the game but only use it in situations like the one that happened in the Cleveland-Chicago game. In a play such as the one umpires are roughly 200 feet away from the play. They are going to get one wrong every now and then. Replay would be a great service to them and to the game.