There is a slight grading curve for John Danks, primarily because he was making his second major league start Wednesday since left shoulder surgery Aug. 6. But as for the continuous shortcomings that plagued the White Sox in a 9-3 loss, it was understandable for manager Robin Ventura to repeat his disappointment over his 24-26 team's defects. Dayan Viciedo's misplayed ball in left field led to the Cubs' first run and holes in the Sox's lineup persisted with 11 strikeouts against Scott Feldman and three relievers. When asked about changes in the batting order, Ventura said "anything's possible'' on a few occasions. But the poor results thus far this season would support changes even though prototypical replacements are not on the roster. "We have to find a way out of it and keep grinding," Ventura said of sticking with leadoff batter Alejandro De Aza and cleanup hitter Adam Dunn. De Aza went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly but has struck out 55 times in 188 at-bats and possesses a .281 on-base percentage — a big contrast from last year's .281 batting average and .349 OBA. "I'm trying to find my way like last year," De Aza said. "They're throwing me more breaking pitches in fastball counts and more fastballs in breaking ball counts." That's evident as De Aza isn't waiting patiently on off-speed pitches. "He's not using his legs at all," hitting coach Jeff Manto said. "As we all see, he gets on that front side and keeps on going. "It has forced him to spin off the balls, That's where a lot of the popups go to left field. Until he gets his feet underneath him, we unfortunately are going to see more of the same. As soon as he gets his feet underneath him, he should be back." The alternative to De Aza in the leadoff spot could be Alexei Ramirez, whose batting average has leaped 37 points since he moved to the second spot 16 games ago even though Ramirez isn't known for working deep counts. "It is a possibility," said Ventura, who did rule out such a change occurring Thursday. "Anything at this point is on the table."
Batting order shake-up on horizon for Sox
Chicago Tribune | May 30