Ken Williams is never shy about making big moves and the White Sox general manager said yesterday that he’s considering whether to “turn over the entire roster” if the third-place, 50-51 team doesn’t show signs of improvement between now and Sunday’s trade deadline.
Williams told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago that the White Sox have some proposed deals on the table that would kick-start a rebuilding effort by trading away veterans, but denied specific reports about offering Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton to the Cardinals for Colby Rasmus.
I don’t want anyone to feel as though anything imminent is coming. I want the focus to be on these next number of games so we can put ourselves in position to maybe add rather than to subtract. I would much rather continue to fight the fight, but we need a little more consistency.
On one hand, you can look toward potentially adding. We’d have to add creatively because of the financial situation right now. And on the other hand, maybe this is the most opportune time to turn over the entire roster and get some young, exciting players in here and go that route.
An interesting subplot to Williams potentially dealing away multiple veterans is whether he’d still want Ozzie Guillen around to manage the rebuild and/or whether Guillen would want to go elsewhere rather than suffer through some lean times with a much younger roster.
In addition to Jackson and Thornton, some other White Sox veterans who could potentially appeal to contenders include Carlos Quentin, Gavin Floyd, A.J. Pierzynski, Omar Vizquel, and Jesse Crain. Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle presumably aren’t going anywhere and it’s tough to imagine any teams pursuing Juan Pierre, Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, or Adam Dunn.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.