So the White Sox are hoping for the same turnaround. But with a terrible offense — on pace to score 580 runs entering the weekend — there are concerns they just won’t get it done.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham, however, is close to returning now that he’s nearly recovered from a broken hand. And pitcher John Danks is on the rehab trail following surgery.
• • •
Royals designated hitter Billy Butler raised his batting average 40 points, from .228 to .268, in three games against the Angels. His nickname is Country Breakfast. Does that mean he’s scrambling to raise his batting average?
... I’ll show myself out.
• • •
Cleveland is 11-4 this month and feeling like contenders. Carlos Santana is back to being the offensive force he can be, Mark Reynolds is providing power and even Ubaldo Jimenez is trying to live up to the hype after being traded there from Colorado. The Indians recently went 4-3 in seven games against the Tigers, Yankees and Phillies.
Three observations ...
• Cleveland’s Justin Masterson already has two complete-game 1-0 victories. That’s impressive because many managers would automatically push the bullpen button and bring in a closer for the ninth inning.
• Looks as if Francisco Liriano likes pitching in the National League. He’s 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA since coming off the disabled list.
• Anthony Rizzo is a great story. He battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma while in A-ball, survived that scare and now has cashed in with a seven-year, $41 million deal with the Cubs.
... and two predictions
• Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, already the comeback player of the year, will save 45 games in his final season.
• Brewers shortstop Jean Segura will slump some but will finish with at least a .300 batting average, 17 homers and a .875 OPS.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III