Oh captain! My captain! Where have you gone?
Since no one wants to acknowledge the fact that the captain of the Chicago White Sox is one of the worst players in all of baseball, I guess I will be the one who falls on that sword. To put it very simply: Paul Konerko stinks.
I really feel that Konerko was one of the main reasons why the White Sox collapsed last September, which is why I nicknamed him “Paul Loney” on Twitter. A year later, however, James Loney is second in the league in hitting, while simply calling someone Paul Konerko is enough of an insult. Entering today, Konerko is second to last on the team in fWAR at -0.9, but it seems that no one realizes this.
I understand that Konerko has a statue and a number retirement waiting for him down the road. However, that doesn’t mean we cannot criticize the veteran first basemen. The White Sox’ horrible hitting as a team has blanketed Konerko’s horrendous start, since there was no way anyone could just blame Konerko when everyone was struggling. However, Adam Dunn is heating up; Alex Rios has returned to form after a small slump; Dayan Viciedo learned to take some pitches and even Jeff Keppinger has gotten some key hits lately.
Therefore, that leaves Konerko as one of the weakest links in the White Sox lineup. When your weakest link is hitting in the middle of the order, that is a recipe for disaster. I think it would be wise to drop Konerko to the 7th spot, especially with the way Viciedo has been hitting since coming off the DL.
Here’s my ideal lineup: Alejandro De Aza/ Alexei Ramirez/ Rios/ Dunn/ Viciedo/ Conor Gillaspie/ Konerko/ Keppinger/ Tyler Flowers. That is a lineup that will produce more runs than the current one. Until Konerko relaxes and starts to hit again, it’s time mix things up.