Alejandro De Aza has been playing some spotty center field for the Chicago White Sox in their series against the Kansas City Royals. De Aza made a costly error that extended the fifth inning for the Royals–ultimately allowing them to attain their first victory of 2013.
The White Sox were mistake-prone yesterday against the Royals but were able to overcome the mistakes to win the game. Today, it wasn’t the case as some timely hitting in the fifth spoiled a great game pitched by Gavin Floyd.
De Aza made amends at the bottom of the inning knocking in Tyler Flowers for the White Sox’s only run of the game.
De Aza hasn’t been a bad outfielder in his career–the majority of which has been spent in center. He’s had two outstanding defensive years in 2009 with the (Florida)Miami Marlins and in 2011 with the White Sox. Both of those seasons his UZR/150 was above 30 and he only made one error in each of those seasons. Interestingly, in 2010–his first year in Chicago–he had a terrible year in center with a -26.6 UZR/150.
It will be interesting to see if De Aza will follow this up and down trend despite having a pretty average year last season in center.
This afternoon no room for error was left as Jeremy Guthrie pitched as great as the Royals could have expected. He gave up one earned run and struck out nine White Sox through six innings.
De Aza hit .281 in his first full Major League Baseball season in 2012 with the White Sox. If he continues to make mistakes like he did this series, he’ll have to make a much better case for himself offensively if he wants to keep his starting job.