Series Preview: Sox Return Home to Take on Tribe

The White Sox return home for the second homestand this year after a 2-3 road trip to Cleveland and Detroit. The Sox will continue their stretch against the AL Central to begin the season with a three game set with the Indians starting Monday. The Sox and Tribe split a two game series last week in Cleveland and both come into the series at 4-7 on the young season.

Sox vs. Indians: By the Numbers

White Sox record versus Indians:

2015: 1-1

2014: 9-10

Indians at US Cellular Field:

2015: 1st meeting

2014: 3-7

Starting Pitchers: White Sox

John Danks (0-2, 6.97 ERA)

Last Start: (L) 4.2 IP, 6 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB’s, 3 K’s (vs Indians)

Versus Indians

Career: 23 starts, 5-12, 5.19 ERA, 1.428 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 1.96 K/BB

 

Hector Noesi (0-1, 3.86 ERA)

Last Start: (L) 4.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 6 BB’s, 6 K’s

Versus Indians

Career: 5 games (4 starts), 1-1, 4.23 ERA, 1.265 WHIP, 6.5 K/9, 2.00 K/BB

 

Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 4.29 ERA)

Last Start: (ND) 8 IP, 8 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K’s

Versus Indians

Career: First Start

Indians vs. Samardzija: Michael Bourn (5-for-10, 2 doubles), Brandon Moss (1-for-3, 2K’s), Mike Aviles (0-for-2, K)

 

Starting Pitchers: Indians

Trevor Bauer (2-0, 1.50 ERA)

Last Start: (W) 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB’s, 8 K’s (vs White Sox)

Versus White Sox:

Career: 3 starts, 1-0, 4.73 ERA, 1.950 WHIP, 12.2 K/9, 2.25 K/BB

At US Cellular: 1 start (ND), 0.2 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 HR’s

 

Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 2.84 ERA)

Last Start: (L) 0 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (vs White Sox) (left due to injury)

Versus White Sox:

Career: 10 games (9 starts), 2-5, 5.37 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, 2.81 K/BB

At US Cellular Field: 5 games (4 starts), 1-2, 6.20 ERA, 1.378 WHIP, 9.1 K/9, 2.78 K/BB

 

Corey Kluber (0-1, 2.49 ERA)

Last Start: (ND) 8 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K’s

Versus White Sox:

Career: 10 games (9 starts), 4-2, 3.09 ERA, 1.094 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 4.21 K/BB

At US Cellular Field: 4 starts, 2-1, 3.16 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 7 K/9, 3.33 K/BB

Reigning Cy Young Winner Corey Kluber (AP Photo)

Reigning Cy Young Winner Corey Kluber
(AP Photo)

 

Team Notes: Indians

– Hitting Woes: The Indians have gotten off to a sluggish start at the plate this season. The Tribe is currently near the bottom of the league in almost every batting category. Here is there ranks out of 15 AL teams for some key offensive stats:

Runs: 14th in AL

Home Runs: 14th

Walks: 10th

Batting Average: 12th

On-base percentage: 14th

Slugging percentage: 15th

OPS: 15th

It’s hard to pinpoint their struggles exactly but injuries to Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes probably play a role, as well as slow starts for Brandon Moss and Jason Kipnis.

-Carrasco Returns: Carlos Carrasco will pitch in the series for the Indians for the first time since taking a line drive to the face against the Sox in Cleveland last week. On just the second batter of the game, Melky Cabrera lined a ball at Carrasco who was able to deflect it just enough with his glove before it hit his face to slow the ball down just enough to avoid major injury.

While the White Sox went on to win the game and Carrasco took a tough loss, it was good to hear that there was no serious injury for Carrasco. You never want to see someone get hurt, especially like that. Hopefully this time around the Sox can beat up on Carrasco without actually beating up on his body.

-Brantley is Back: The Indians were without their most important piece of the lineup last week when they played the Sox as Michael Brantley was out with back spasms. Brantley returned to the Indians lineup on Friday and played all three games of their weekend series against Minnesota. He went 3-for-12 (.250) with a walk and an RBI. While he might not be back to his form from a season ago, having Brantley penciled into the middle of the order changes the look of the Indians lineup in a big way.

 

Team Notes: White Sox

Carlos Rodon is getting the call.

Carlos Rodon is getting the call.

-Rodon is Coming: The White Sox will call up their top prospect Carlos Rodon before the start of the series and he will be available to pitch out of the bullpen starting Monday. Rodon was the Sox first round pick last year and appeared in just 11 total minor league games before getting the call to the show. In two starts this year Rodon is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and an 11.7 K/9 rate.

Rodon will start out in the bullpen but he may not stay there long. If either John Danks or Hector Noesi continue to struggle, you could see one of them losing their spot in the rotation to Rodon before too long. Rodon’s future is as a part of the Sox rotation, and that future could be here very soon.

-Chew Up Some Innings: Both John Danks and Hector Noesi had short outings their last time to the mound as neither was able to get through the fifth inning. They are starting the first two games of this series and will need to work deeper into the game, especially since Jose Quintana only lasted four innings on Sunday.

Both Danks and Noesi are also in a battle to stay in the rotation. As mentioned above, Carlos Rodon is now up with the big club and breathing down both of their necks. Whoever keeps their spot in the rotation will be the guy that can chew up some innings while keeping his team in the game. Another short outing for either could see them headed to the pen.

-All or Nothing: The White Sox offense has been very inconsistent to start the season. This isn’t anything new with this team, who has been like this for the past few years, but the hope was that this year would be different. So far that hasn’t been the case. In the Sox four wins this year they are averaging almost seven runs per game. In their seven losses, the Sox are averaging less than two runs per game. That is a huge discrepancy and should level out, hopefully sooner than later.

 

matthoeppner

About matthoeppner

White Sox fan for as long as I can remember. Graduate of the Michigan State School of Journalism, Pitch F/X Operator for MLB.com, play-by-play announcer for the Michigan Regional Sports Network and new dad. I live in the Detroit area but am still a Chicagoan all the way.

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