Although the White Sox haven’t played as many games as they’d planned through a week of the season, there’s plenty to dig in and digest. Obviously, we’ll have to wait a bit longer–at least one full trip through the rotation would be nice–to make any grand statements but here’s what popped most in the Sox first three games.
–Jose Quintana will probably be just fine. He gave up six runs on three home runs against the Tigers. First, he never gives up three home runs. Second, he hasn’t matched up well against the Tigers in the past. Third, with the rainout on Wednesday, the Sox have the chance to start Quintana three times and skip the as-yet technically unnamed fifth starter. They’ll do just that. Q will be fine.
–Matt Davidson hit a 428-foot home run in his first at-bat of the year. He rounded all the bases, did not get hurt, and finished the game. That did not happen after his only at-bat last season. It’s been a long, long road to the Major Leagues after being acquired from the Diamondbacks in 2013. Davidson did not have a good spring, by any measure. He had a fantastic first game and, if nothing else, can take that confidence and run with it.
–Tyler Saladino has seemed extra patient in the leadoff spot. His eye has been sharp, his takes have been keen and when he’s swung early (like belting the second pitch of the game Friday night against Phil Hughes deep to center) he hit the ball hard (but was robbed by Byron Buxton who made a preposterous catch).
–James Shields’ velocity is up. That may mean a lot, if it’s true. Fangraphs.com has an excellent article up about velocity across baseball and how it’s being measured this year as opposed to last. Whether he’s throwing harder or not, he got swings and misses on the fastball in his first start. That simply did not happen last season.
–Geovany Soto became the seventh player in MLB history to homer twice in a game for both the White Sox and the Cubs. The others are Ron Santo, Jay Johnstone, Vance Law, George Bell, Sammy Sosa and WLS’ own Darrin Jackson.
–Jake Petricka will start, pretty much, on the DL this year. A lat strain has sidelined the right hander after just one appearance. He was healthy this offseason after hip surgery put him on the shelf all last season. His absence hurt the Sox as they careened out of contention last year. Hopefully, he gets back quickly. His ability to throw ground balls is an asset to the bullpen.
There’s more but we’ll leave it there for now. Catch all the latest on the Sox live on White Sox Weekly or check the podcast.