Clock is running on Paulino
Some quick notes before the White Sox try for their third straight win over the Indians:
-This is a big start for Felipe Paulino, who is running out of time.
Yes, he is coming back from Tommy John surgery, and Paulino understandably has some rust after being away from the majors for almost two years.
But the 30-year-old right-hander has to start throwing strikes, and making it through 6 innings would also be nice.
In his first two starts, Paulino has worked a combined 9.2 innings and thrown 208 pitches.
"I'd like to see him in better hitters counts," manager Robin Ventura said. "I think he falls behind and starts picking. Early on you're just going to have to throw strikes and hopefully get through a little quicker than he's been in the past."
-Heading into today's game, the White Sox lead the major leagues in runs per game (6.36), they’re tied for the lead in home runs (15) and they rank second in batting average (.290), OPS (.828), slugging percentage (.468) and on-base percentage (.360).
It's still early, but what a difference a year makes.
-The Sox are loaded up with left-handed hitters today against Justin Masterson, Cleveland's ace right-hander.
Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez are the only right-handed hitters in the lineup.
Jordan Danks makes his first start, in right field, since coming up from Class AAA Charlotte to replace the injured Avisail Garcia.
Masterson was 4-0 with a 0.83 ERA vs. the White Sox last season. We'll see if a year really does make a difference.
-Injured relief pitcher Nate Jones said an epidural knocked the pain out of his lower back, but he has no idea when he'll be able to throw again.
“I'm not putting a timetable on it,” Jones said. “I just want to feel 100 percent before I come back.”
Jones was diagnosed with a strained glute in spring training, and that changed to a strained left hip when he landed on the 15-day disabled list last Friday.
Both problems apparently stemmed from his back.
“When I felt it (pain) coming back I wasn't very pleased,” Jones said. “I thought we kicked it in the butt the first time around. We didn't hit it right on the head, but this time around I feel like we did. This time around I feel like we did and I feel like we're taking care of everything, all the symptoms and stuff. I think we're doing pretty good with it right now.”