The Yankees will face two pitchers who have struggled at times this season, but they will also see John Danks, who is having a stellar start to 2010. He’s given up just eleven hits and four runs over his last three starts and has kept opponents batting just .183. While President Obama made it clear that he wishes Mariano Rivera was closing for his White Sox, Bobby Jenks is not one to ignore. His ERA after nine innings of work may sit at 5.00, but his FIP is just 2.00. He has walked six batters this season and struck out fourteen.
The White Sox defense shows some need for improvement. They are last in MLB in Team UZR this year at -7.8, though their UZR/150 ranks just above the Yankees at -12.1 (as opposed to -12.4). Third baseman Mark Teahen has four errors on the season and an UZR of -2.8.
The White Sox also rank last in the Majors in batting average (.222) and BABIP (.224). Their wOBA is the fourth worst in the AL at .314. Paul Konerko has led the way for the White Sox, hitting .292/.398/.750, however, his BABIP is just .196. Andruw Jones is also getting on base for the Sox, hitting .259/.394/.630. A.J. Pierzynski, Juan Pierre and Carlos Quentin are doing little to help Chicago offensively, hitting .172, .200 and .183 respectively.
Yankees: Chan Ho Park remains on the DL and appears to be slow in progressing. Jorge Posada is still day-to-day with his knee injury, after being plunked by Jeremy Guthrie on Wednesday. The Yankees have not called up Chad Moeller from Scranton, so I would guess that he should be back soon. Girardi had said Posada was available Thursday to play “in an emergency.”
White Sox: Carlos Quentin is also listed as day-to-day with a strained hamstring. He was scratched from Thursday’s lineup and is not expected to make tonight’s game. Ramon Castro started the season on the DL with a bruised heel and has started to rehab for the White Sox AAA affiliate earlier this week.
The White Sox have started to show some signs of life and could cause some trouble for the Yankees. Looking at the numbers, Saturday’s game looks like the best shot for a White Sox victory, with the mismatch of Vazquez and Danks. Still, one has to think Vazquez will shake off the dust sooner or later, and perhaps playing his old team will give him that extra push.