Lacking lefties on the South Side

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Lacking lefties on the South Side

A major void in the White Sox lineup over the past several seasons has been good left-handed hitting; a problem that seemed to be solved entering 2011 with the addition of Adam Dunn.

Instead, for the third year in a row, the White Sox had the fewest home runs hit by lefties of any American League team.

White Sox Home Runs hit by Lefties; Last three seasons

HR AL Rank
2009: 51 14th
2010: 24 14th
2011: 28 14th

The totals of 24 and 28 the past two seasons are two of the three worst totals in the AL from 2000-2011 (2000 Royals also had 28), and Oscar Gamble, Robin Ventura, and Jim Thome remain the only three Sox lefties to slug 30 longballs in a season over the 111-year franchise history.

Furthermore, the Sox were one of only four American League teams to have less than 50 percent of their team plate appearances with the platoon advantage, meaning left-handed hitters facing right-handed pitchers and vice versa.

2011 Worst Percentage of PA in American League with Platoon Advantage

Blue Jays 40.3
Rangers 42.8
White Sox 47.2
Orioles 49.2

The Indians, on the other hand, led the league with 67.7 of their team PA with the platoon advantage. That's a large reason why they were able to squeak out a surprise second-place finish in the Central.

71.5 percent of American League plate appearances were against right-handed pitching in 2011, so finding quality left-handed hitting is certainly a detail not to be overlooked.

Of the 2,187 White Sox plate appearances by lefties in 2011...

711 (32.5) were by Juan Pierre (.657 OPS), and

496 (22.7) were by Adam Dunn (.569 OPS)

A bounceback season by Dunn as well as continued success by Alejandro de Aza (.920 OPS in 171 PA in 2011) can make a huge difference for Ventura's 2012 Sox.

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Major League Baseball released the latest American League All-Star voting update Monday and Avisail Garcia has jumped back into fifth place among outfielders.

The White Sox right fielder jumped past Boston's Mookie Betts since the last returns were announced on June 13.

Since then Garcia has slashed .319/.447/.819 with a homer, 5 RBIs and three doubles in 12 games.

Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and George Springer remain the top vote-getters in the outfield, though Trout won't play in the Midsumemr Classic because of a thumb injury.

On the year Garcia is batting .331 with a .904 OPS, 11 homers and 51 RBIs; the RBIs are the same number Garcia had all of last year.

Garcia is the only White sox player among the top AL vote-getters at any position.

Voting ends June 30.

Derek Holland not satisfied despite strong outing in White Sox loss

Derek Holland not satisfied despite strong outing in White Sox loss

Derek Holland turned in one of his best starts of the season on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the White Sox had nothing to show for it after a 5-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

In six innings, Holland allowed four hits, one earned run, and two walks while recording six strikeouts. He was charged with his only run in the seventh, when he allowed a single to Yonder Alonso, who came around to score after Holland had been pulled from the game.

Despite his confidence in the bullpen, which has been one of the White Sox biggest strengths this season, Holland would like to see himself go deeper into the games.

“I should be getting into the 7th and not having 110 pitches,” Holland said. “The bullpen's done a great job of picking us up in the seventh, eighth and ninth. The starters, and really pointing more to myself, we need to...I need to go out there and go longer."

Entering Sunday, three of Holland’s last four starts had been the worst outings of the season – allowing 22 earned runs over those four games. Despite the team’s 5-3 loss, Holland felt his outing was a step in the right direction.

“I felt good about everything out there,” Holland said. “(Omar Narvaez) and I were right on the same page. There were just a couple of things that got away from us. Just one of those things. Defense made the plays for us when they needed to, unfortunately we just didn't come out on top."

Manager Rick Renteria also had high praise for the 30-year-old southpaw, who bounced back from one of his shortest outings of the season.

“I thought Holland, hopefully what's not lost is Holland's outing today was really, really good,” Renteria said. “He kept us in the ballgame. They've got some kids that can swing the bat. They were putting things together. All we were trying to do at the end was minimize any damage they could produce. We weren't able to.”