A nation turns its lonely eyes to Teahen

When Mark Teahen left the White Sox in the fourth inning of a game against the Rays on May 30, they were 21-28 and eight games back of the Minnesota Twins.

When Mark Teahen left the White Sox in the fourth inning of a game against the Rays on May 30, they were 21-28 and eight games back of the Minnesota Twins.
A couple of innings later, the Sox had their first opportunity to miss Teahen when Jayson Nix and his .143 average — hell, his .143 slugging percentage — came to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out. Nix worked the count full, then unloaded on James Shields, hitting a drive so hard, so pure, that he irked Shields with a triumphant bat flip.
Though Nix was nixed a couple of weeks later, he set a tone with that mighty blow. It was shocking how quickly Teahen’s absence became an afterthought.
Part of it’s his own fault. He had to heat up late to raise his line to .255/.340/.387, which still wasn’t nearly good enough to make up for his atrocious defense at third. His most famous play this year is turning a hard grounder into a ground-rule double, the ball ricocheting off his shin and into the crowd. Fittingly, that came during the Sox’s worst loss of the season, a 13-0 drubbing at the hands of the other Florida team.
But nobody could have anticipated how third base turned into a team strength when he left. Since Teahen suffered his injury, his replacements own a .314/.370/.436 line. Omar Vizquel’s reaching base at a .388 clip himself, and while UZR grades his defense as a notch below average, my eye test thinks he’s more than reliable. Then again, a notch below average is still a massive improvement to what Teahen is providing.
Ozzie Guillen recognizes this. When Teahen returns to the 25-man roster today, taking the place of Dayan Viciedo, he will be used as the Royals used him — spelling Vizquel at third, Paul Konerko at first, maybe a little time in right field, and opportunities at DH, too. He may not like being in flux, but he wasn’t exactly Wally Pipped out of his job at third. Chances are, his defense would have forced a change had it festered there long enough.
But he has a golden opportunity to redirect his entire season. The course of his injury came full circle on Thursday night. Teahen, who had watched Nix push him out of the picture with his grand slam back on Memorial Day weekend, returns after watching teammates blow every opportunity they had with the bases loaded. He couldn’t be a more welcome sight.
It would behoove Teahen to take advantage of these circumstances, even if he ends up raking while his teammates crumble. He’s far from the lone reason why the team nearly fell out of contention before June, but an awfully convenient narrative awaits if the team only succeeded without him. Considering he is only one-third of the way through an ill-advised extension and lost his position to a guy old enough to be his woefully unprepared father, falling flat down the stretch could make the next two years seem like an eternity on all sides.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Durham 6, Charlotte 2
    • Mark Teahen went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
    • Brent Morel and Alejandro De Aza went 0-for-4 with a K.
    • Jordan Danks singled and struck out twice over four PAs.
  • Mobile 8, Birmingham 6

    • Eduardo Escobar went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a strikeout.
    • Justin Greene hit a two-run homer and struck out twice.
    • Christian Marrero was 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Kannapolis 2, Savannah 0
    • Ryan Buch struck out six over six innings with no walks. He allowed just four hits.
    • Nick Ciolli went 2-for-4 with a K.
    • Tyler Saladino singled twice and struck out three times.
    • Brady Shoemaker and Juan Silverio both wore the collar with two strikeouts.
    • Miguel Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Bristol 1, Burlington 0
    • Rangel Ravelo went 2-for-4.
    • Kevin Moran struck out a batter and allowed a hit in an inning of work.
  • Billings 14, Great Falls 2
    • Stephen Upchurch was hit hard: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.
  • Winston-Salem at Wilmington PPD
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

Articles: 3788
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cushinglee

My expectations for Teahen? None.

knoxfire30

Hmm blurbs from last night… I can write another chapter in my book entitled “why a major leaguer can no longer make an error” as juan pierre benefitted from a dropped fly ball that was somehow ruled a hit, Im still in shock in an inning with 3 lefties and a switch hitter due up Ozzie decided to let floyd pitch into the 120’s when he had Thornton and the rest of the meaningful pen well rested.
Stuff to take from the series, the twins won game 1, the twins lost game two and the sox lost game 3, thats the way i see it, not sure if their are positives in that logic or not but I didnt feel overwhelmed by liriano or much of the twins team, one thing that does bother me is that we no longer have a home field advantage against the twins, they have a team much better suited to play at us cellular field then we do, espeically if mornuae gets back

fustercluck

Got a “Like it” from me on the tragic spelling of “Morneau” alone.

knoxfire30

So the whitesox have an ambassador who might have had the greatest eye in the history of the game. They also have a young talented and powerful prospect who couldnt be further from that…. I think its time for Frank Thomas to have a full time job mentoring Dayan Viciedo, no?

fustercluck

Can’t find the proof, but I seem to recall Thomas working with Walt Hriniak sometime after Walt left the Sox. Walt was Frank’s personal hitting guru, and Dayanny Boy needs himself a guru, too.

knoxfire30

sorry for the rambling, but also wanted to note that alexei had another mental error, after being so good at eliminating these most of the season, 2 in the last 3 games have hurt the sox, not good

chisoxt

Knox-My eye test tells me that Alexei is a member of the club who takes his offensive struggles out into the field with him. It’s no coincidence that he tends to be the reincarnation of Ozzie Smith when he’s raking…and the reincarnation of B B Richard when he’s not.

soxfan1

Did Alexi forget to cover 2B on the shift again last nite?? The same thing occured on Tues. What are your thoughts??

knoxfire30

my thoughts are this guy cant go a season without mental errors finding him, but yea he forgot to cover 2nd again, it directly lead to a run

Shinons

Teahen as our every day third baseman was setting him up for failure. But being the fella that keeps Kotsay out of the lineup? That could turn him from piñata to fan favorite…

ricksch

Good summation. I have to believe Teahen is at least going to give us better ABs than Viciedo’s been providing.
Also, I really want Ozzie and co. to explain why the hell Floyd pitched to Kubel? Even Hawk and Stoney were all over the fact that Floyd’s curveball was no longer breaking down. What the hell are Ozzie, Coop and Ozzie’s designated ass-kisser Cora watching?
Thornton wasn’t used for the entire series. What is he being saved for? And, more to the point, exactly what does it accomplish if Floyd finishes the inning? Once again, Ozzie thinks he’s managing in the National League where you may want the option of pinch-hitting. I hope someday very soon Ozzie gets his wish and finds a home in the NL for him, his fricken family and all his lame, foot-in-mouth BS.

chisoxt

Ozzie’s strength clearly is the way that he handles players’ egos and the clubhouse. His in game managing and decision making skills, OTOH, are downright horrendous.

chisoxt

Jim…The results of your eye test with Visquel may be relative to just how awful Teahen was defensively at third.

ricksch

In his last outing against the Os, Thornton blazed fastballs and struck out the side. Maybe I was a little harsh there with Ozzie and fam, but he really frustrates me. When there is so much risk and such a tiny reward, why does he try that crap? Floyd was up to 120 pitches I forgot to add.
I was also REALLY curious about Ozzie and Jenks. Oz puts Bobby in at garbage time on Wednesday. I can see that. He needed work and needed to prove something. But to put your closer in at garbage time two nights in a row? So much for massaging egos. I guess only Kotsay gets a free pass every night of the week.

lorenzobandini

>>M. Teahen homered to deep right, P. Konerko scored <<
Who needs Adam Dunn?! 🙂