Simply put, Harrell doesn’t strike out enough opponents while walking too many. He appeared in eight games-three starts-with the 2010 White Sox and hardly looked impressive in those 24 innings, walking 17 and striking out 15. Like Humber, Harrell has been mediocre in triple-A, posting FIPs of 4.34 and 4.46 in 2009 and 2010 with Charlotte. Harrell doesn’t have much-if any-edge over Humber, and that’s not saying a whole lot.
Zach Miner, who will get the ball for the hometown team Monday, went 2-1 against Chicago in 2008, posting a 3.94 ERA in five appearances against the Sox.
So, in other words, maybe we’ll see Matt Thornton used in high-leverage situations in the seventh or eighth inning, allowing Sergio Santos, sale jerseys or Jesse Crain to close out lower-leverage situations in the ninth. Whether that actually happens or not remains to be seen-Williams isn’t the manager, after all-but if the Sox do employ this leverage-based strategy, it’ll go a long way toward maximizing bullpen success.
New York is only bringing Rodriguez back because it has few other healthy offensive weapons left. But if the Yankees are hoping against hope that the 38-year-old third baseman will jump start the rest of the lineup, it didn’t come true on this first night. After getting a bloop single in his first at-bat, he was hitless the rest of the game.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham is expected to improve on his rookie year and second year numbers. Catcher A. J. Pierzynski handles the pitching staff well with veteran leadership but also is consistent at the plate, often coming through in the clutch. Young catcher Tyler Flowers may start to press Pierzynski for playing time this season.
To that point, Detroit’s own trio of relievers have equaled the task, as Ryan Perry, Fernando Rodney, and Bobby Seay have also gone 7.1 innings without yielding a run.
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.