Update: A’s Hire Wakamatsu, Cora To Remain On White Sox Bench.for Now

Both teams are back at it today at 6 PM CT. Mark Buehrle (11-9) will take the ball from Ozzie Guillen and look to improve upon his stellar 3.74 ERA on the season. The lefty has struggled recently however going 0-3 with an 11.74 ERA over his last three starts.

When Thome left to go to the rival Twins prior to the 2010 season, General Manager Kenny Williams and Manager Ozzie Guillen decided to use the designated hitter slot as a way to get bench players at bats. Many different players hit in the designated hitter slot for Guillen last season but without the power production they were used to.

Acquired from the Rockies in 2009 for Jose Contreras, Hynick will be 26 March 7 and had a 5.79 FIP in Charlotte last season. He’s a non-roster invitee, making him just about as much a longshot as 40-man roster members Cofield and Jones.

Chicago was haunted by one of its old pitchers Daniel Hudson in Friday’s Game 1 when he pitched the Diamondbacks to a 4-1 decision over the 121 road underdogs. The loss was the White Sox’s third in-a-row leaving them 5.5 games in back of Cleveland and Detroit in the AL Central with an overall record of 33-38. They are 16-17 at home and 17-21 on the road.

The White Sox took a flier on Humber this offseason, but don’t expect him to be another Don Cooper reclamation success. The 28-year-old right-hander has been nothing but mediocre in the minor leagues from 2007-2010, posting FIPs of 4.58, 4.86, 4.70, and 4.37 across stops with the Mets, Twins and Royals’ triple-A teams. In 51.1 major-league innings, Humber has a 5.05 FIP as well. But, given the competition, Humber may end up being the best option for the Sox come April 1.

Man, does that seem like a long time ago. The only time “confident” is used with Jerry Owens at this point is when people say they’re confident Owens has played his way off the major league club.

The A’s bullpen finished sixth in the AL with a 3.83 ERA, trailing all four AL playoff teams and the Chicago sale jerseys. Overall, the Oakland relief corps finished 12th in the majors.

Peavy claims to be at 60-70 percent heading into spring training, so his velocity is likely to be lower than usual as his arm & shoulder regain strength. If he’s throwing 94 mph on his fastball by the end of spring, maybe there’s a chance he returns sooner than early May. But if his fastball is barely scraping 90 mph or is losing velocity early into outings, it’ll be a longer road back.

Sox End Skid, But Suffer Blow To Bench

Choo, who reached the .300 mark in batting with a 1-for-3 game on Saturday, sat out the game on Sunday. He becomes the only Tribe hitter since 1901 to bat .300, hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in back-to-back seasons. The only other Indians to turn that feat but not in back-to-back seasons were Roberto Alomar in 1999 and 2001 and Joe Carter in 1986.

That’s not to say Twins’ starter Nick Blackburn didn’t have a good outing, either. The sale jerseys had fits against Blackburn’s sinker, driving the ball into the ground all day. However, a 2-2 high changeup to Thome in the seventh inning was the mistake that cost the Twins the division, as Thome nailed it over 460 feet to the centerfield concourse to give the sale jerseys a lead they would not relinquish.

One of the tactics is a “brush back pitch”. This tactic is usually used to move a potentially dangerous hitter away from the plate and instill a little fear while he is at bat. causing him to think and perhaps, hesitate.

Hitting with runners in scoring position with less than two outs, hitting into a high number of double plays, and not throwing runners out at second are just a few of the simple tasks they struggle with. So far the Sox have beaten themselves in many games, but if a few key players step it up the sky is the limit.

Danks’ located his fastball with perfection, keeping it down in the zone and right on the corners of the strike zone. His cutter jammed Twins hitters all day, and his changeup and curveball kept them off-balance. Under the circumstances, it was the best outing of Danks’ career without a doubt.

I would keep instant replay away from judgment calls such as whether a runner is safe or out. I would also not use it for balls and strikes. This way, the human element remains in the game and replay is only used when it is absolutely necessary. A play will only come under review when the umpires feel it necessary to do so. Umpires will be evaluated in the same manner they are now. Those that make too many mistakes will not be available to work postseason games and thus will lose out on bigger paychecks.

With postseason hopes hanging on every pitch, Danks delivered with a masterful, eight-inning shutout performance in which he allowed just two hits, three walks, and struck out four. He struck out AL batting champ Joe Mauer twice. He held Carlos Gomez and Denard Span, who came up so big for the Twins last week in Minneapolis, hitless. Possible AL MVP Justin Morneau? Not a chance. He went 0-3 against Danks, who looked unhittable for much of the game.

The race will begin at 6:30 p.m. on July 12. After the race, the runners can attend a free post-race party in the stadium to watch the MLB All-Star Game on the Jumbotron. Donations will be accepted from non-runners at the gate who want to attend the party.