Carlos Quentin is back from the disabled list after missing the past three weeks with a shoulder injury, but he returns to a much more crowded White Sox lineup.
Quentin’s injury opened the door for 22-year-old rookie Dayan Viciedo, who’s hit .354 in 14 games since being called up. With the White Sox all but out of the playoff picture they seem unlikely to bench Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza isn’t sitting after batting .324 with a .930 OPS in 39 games.
That leaves Quentin to fight for playing time with Alex Rios, Adam Dunn, and Juan Pierre, with basically two open spots in the lineup for those four veterans. Two are left-handed hitters (Pierre, Dunn) and two are right-handed hitters (Rios, Quentin), so in theory manager Ozzie Guillen could form a pair of quasi-platoons. Or he could just bench Dunn and rotate the other three through two spots.
For today at least Quentin and Dunn are on the bench and Rios is at designated hitter.
Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.
Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.
Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:
I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.
The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.
Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.
Jim Leyland also got in on the action:
Go Puerto Rico.