Even though he's dealt with two injuries to his left wrist/hand, second baseman Gordon Beckham has been one of the White Sox' few bright spots on offense this season.
In 72 games, Beckham is batting .298 with 4 home runs and 18 RBI, and he has an impressive .350 on-base percentage.
At Minnesota last Thursday, Beckham strained his right quad and he’s clearly been less than 100 percent while playing through the injury the past week.
With Leury Garcia coming up from Class AAA Charlotte today, Beckham is likely going to get a break as the Sox shoot for a sweep of the Royals and overall six-game winning streak.
Garcia was acquired from the Rangers on Aug. 11 as the player to be named later in the Alex Rios trade.
When the rain clears out, we should have a pretty good pitching matchup today at Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ Travis Wood takes on the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg. Wood is 7-10 with a 3.13 ERA while Strasburg is 6-9 with a 2.93 ERA. Wood’s ERA is the second lowest among pitchers with at least 10 losses. Chris Sale of the White Sox is 9-11 with a 2.78 ERA.
Our pregame talk with Cubs manager Dale Sveum this morning again turned to shortstop prospect Javier Baez, who hit 2 home runs and went 4-for-4 for Class AA Tennessee last night in a 10-8 victory over Birmingham. In August, Baez is 33-for-81 (.407) with 11 doubles, 5 home runs and 22 RBI. Between Class A Daytona and Tennessee, Baez has 33 home runs and 100 RBI.
Last week, DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan said an entrance to the Illinois treasurer’s race by House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego wouldn’t upend his plans.
This week, Grogan says he’s set to announce his candidacy for real, even though he’s already been traveling the state talking about it.
“Next week during the Du Quoin State Fair, I’ll be announcing my candidacy for State Treasurer, details to follow,” Grogan posted on Facebook. “While others can talk about political money raised, I’ll be talking about safeguarding the people’s money.”
Former DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom also said he’s seeking the office, but he’s not said what Cross’ likely entrance means to him.
After further review, Cubs manager Dale Sveum thought better of batting Starlin Castro eighth. As we mentioned in our afternoon blog today, Sveum has Castro leading off tonight against the Nationals, with Anthony Rizzo batting second.
“Most of it came down to obviously thinking about Castro the last couple days,” Sveum said late this afternoon. “I don’t think we’re doing him any good trying to get through these next five weeks trying to get him and Rizzo feeling good going into the winter. Of all places, now that we’ve lost (David) DeJesus in the leadoff spot anyway, I think this is one spot that he’s flourished in and he kind of can use to get his so-called swagger back and see if that can get things going a little bit, too.
Since 2011, the Illinois legislature's Diabetes Caucus formed by state Rep. Mike Tryon, a Crystal Lake Republican, has tested 2,000 people for free.
“It is very important to get tested for diabetes because the sooner you can get treatment the less chance an individual has to develop the harmful side effects of uncontrolled Diabetes such as stroke, heart attack, blindness and amputation,” Tryon said in a statement.
Tryon found out he had Type 2 diabetes in 2006. House Republican Leader Tom Cross has a daughter with Type 1 diabetes, as does state Rep. Jim Durkin of Western Springs.
The testing is done throughout the state at health events and hospitals, and people can learn more at www.ilgadiabetes.com.
The headline on Tuesday's blog was, "Castro moves to eighth spot." Manager Dale Sveum batted the beleaguered shortstop eighth last night, saying it was the right fit in a lineup that included Brian Bogusevic in left field, Nate Schierholtz in right, Donnie Murphy at third and Welington Castilo behind the plate. At the time, Sveum said the others were hitting too well to move down. So it was Castro who batted eighth.
Less than 24 hours, it's a double-dose of surprise, as Sveum has moved Castro up to the leadoff spot and first baseman Anthony Rizzo into the second spot. It will be Castro's fourth time in the leadoff spot this year and Rizzo's career debut batting second. Both players were out this afternoon for extensive sessions of early batting practice.
Anyone concerned that the Bears will automatically be doomed to mediocrity because they could start three rookies opening day – middle linebacker Jonathan Bostic, right tackle Jordan Mills and right guard Kyle Long – needn’t worry.
An infusion of youth doesn’t necessarily mean a team will struggle through growing pains. It’s possible to be very young and very competitive.
The Cubs and Chris Rusin take on Dan Haren and the Nationals tonight at Wrigley Field, where the ball has been carrying in batting practice on a warm evening. The news of the day is that Cubs manager Dale Sveum has Starlin Castro batting eighth for the first time this year, with Darwin Barney batting second and Nate Schierholtz batting cleanup.
Castro is 1-for-23 (.043) on the homestand, and for the year, his line is .242/.278/.343. Brian Bogusevic, a left-handed batter, is in the lineup batting sixth and playing left field. Donnie Murphy, who hit 2 homers last night, as did Schierholtz, bats fifth and plays third base.
Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign sent us a list of 70 Democratic Party county chairmen who support his re-election bid over former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.
The suburban names are largely all there:
DuPage - Bob Peickert
Kane - Mark Guethle
McHenry - Mike Bissett
Will - Scott Pyles
And last week the Cook County Democratic Party slated Quinn as their favored nominee.
So missing from the suburban list is just state Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat and head of the Lake County party. Is he backing Daley?
He isn't. He's not backing Quinn, either.
"I'm staying neutral," Link said. "I've got plenty of time."
Another big and busy day around the ballpark. Even though it’s past the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline, the Cubs were able to make a deal today, sending outfielder David DeJesus to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. The Nats are in town, so DeJesus simply moved from one clubhouse to the other. The Cubs will net a savings of about $2.5 million on the deal. They’ve also activated outfielder Brian Bogusevic off the disabled list.
DeJesus was one of the most popular players in the clubhouse, both for his example-setting and work ethic.