Alejandro De Aza bruised his ribs sliding into second base Friday night and today the White Sox placed him on the disabled list while recalling Jordan Danks from Triple-A to take his roster spot.
De Aza predictably came back down to earth after hitting .329 in 54 games for the White Sox last year, but he’s had a very solid season by hitting .281 with a .346 on-base percentage as Chicago’s center fielder and leadoff man.
Danks looked pretty overmatched in his first taste of the majors earlier this season, posting a 12/1 K/BB ratio in 51 plate appearances while producing a modest .621 OPS. If the White Sox go the veteran route DeWayne Wise will be De Aza’s main fill-in.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.