Injuries have been no problem so far this year for the White Sox. The pitching has been excellent and healthy. The bats haven’t been fantastic but have been good enough to keep the team ten games over .500 with only 22 played so far.
That ended on Wednesday. In separate moments the White Sox lost their starting shortstop, second baseman, and top utility infielder. Juan Uribe pulled his groin. Once the groin is mentioned, most men quietly groan and move on. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi bruised his knee when Scott Hatteberg tried to break up a double play. Utility guy Pablo Ozuna bruised his hand when he was hit by a pitch. That left the Sox with two healthy middle infielders on the roster.
Joe Crede started at shortstop. Crede has never played shortstop in his major-league career. Never. In the ninth inning with the game tied and two men on and two outs, Crede got hit by a pitch. The umpire said he didn’t try to avoid the pitch. Talk about a judgment call in a critical situation. Crede then popped out and the rally was dead. Crede and manager Ozzie Guillen were tossed arguing the call. OK, at least cooler heads could prevail. Who comes in to replace Crede at shortstop? Jermaine Dye, who last played shortstop in high school, stepped in. Dye is the team’s right fielder.
Backup catcher Chris Widger started at third base. Widger has been in and out of the major leagues since 1995. How many games has he started at third? Zero. Even Paul Konerko, our first baseman who’s as fleet of foot as a dead cat, has played some third base. I would start Don Zimmer at third base before I’d start Konerko there.
Losing their first series of the year isn’t that much of a big deal. It was bound to happen. When you’re 16-6 a one-run loss on a getaway day against a pretty good team doesn’t seem like much. Minnesota’s not going away.