Going In, In Brief
Following an extremely disappointing 2-4 road trip, the Twins (11-14) are limping home still mired in run-scoring mediocrity. Performances from the starting pitchers have been suspect the last few games as well, including Scott Baker's performance which ended in a muscle strain. After Saturday afternoon's 12-run day, getting blanked 10-0 on Sunday puts the team right back where it was going into Texas: at the bottom of Momentum Mountain.
Chicago (14-10) on the other hand, are winners of three out of their last four, which included a couple of exciting wins, and are currently the AL Central division leaders. While the team OBP (.336) and SLG (.418) are middle-of-the-road, the White Sox are also sixth in the league in runs. They average 5.3 runs per game, meaning they're out-scoring their opponents by about a run per contest.
Boof Bonser VS Gavin Floyd
Nick Blackburn VS Nick Masset
Carlos Quentin: Quentin, the 26-year old outfielder who came over from Arizona during the winter, is making the best of his new environment. A .288/.435/.562 hitter on the year, he's averaging exactly four pitches per plate appearance. His combination of strength, power and patience have helped him be an extraordinarily effective hitter early on.
Nick Swisher: Another new face, and a mangy one at that, Swisher is off to a slow start by traditional baseball standards. His .232 average and 3 home runs are easy to look past, right to the BB column that reads 19. Swisher, like most of the White Sox middle order, has a pretty cruddy batting average but still reaches base. Swisher's OBP is .379.
A.J. Pierzynski: Our former All-Star catcher is scorching so far, hitting .325/.373/.532. His 5 walks put him on pace for a career high in that category. Being facetious never hurt anyone, but seriously: his stats so far are an anomoly. His LD% (12) and BABIP (.319) are polar opposites. He'll come back to earth eventually, but right now he's on fire.
Jermaine Dye: He just never gets any older, does he? Dye has been 34 for six years, and still is tearing the cover off the ball: .316/.369/.513 in 76 at-bats, with 7 doubles and a pair of home runs.
Gavin Floyd: Floyd's curveball is his best weapon as often as it's his own worst enemy. He's been technically effective so far (2.84 ERA, 25.1 IP, 14 H), and the 12 walks haven't hurt too much due to the lack of hits, but he's been extraordinarily lucky with BABIP so far this spring, putting up a ridiculous average of .162. For as long as the balls in play find gloves, he'll be fine. Naturally.
Nick Masset: Masset's heading for his first start of the season against the Twins on Wednesday, and he's established a pretty quality track record from the Chicago bullpen so far this year. It will only be his second career start, and was a pretty mediocre starter in his minor league career, so it will be interesting to see if the Twins can capitalize on the 25-year old's lack of experience and duration since being stretched as a guy who can go five innings.