What to make of Sox, Tigers run differentials

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What to make of Sox, Tigers run differentials

A mini-debate was started this week by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal effectively dismissing Baltimore's run differential, which pegs the 51-44 Orioles to be well below .500. Allowing 439 runs while only scoring 395 doesn't have some people too confident in Baltimore's chances going forward, and with good cause.

But Rosenthal, in speaking to a few team officials from Baltimore, seemed to take the opinion that a few bad apples were spoiling the bunch -- i.e, the Orioles' run differential is so bad (the worst in the AL East) because of a few blowouts caused by poor starting pitching.

That's not an entirely wrong view, but Hardball Talk's Craig Calceterra points out that, for the Orioles to keep up their current pace both in terms of wins and run differential, it would be a historic outlier.

What does this have to do with the White Sox, though? As things stand on Monday, the White Sox have a better run differential than the Tigers, despite being 1 12 games out of first place. Detroit has scored 441 runs and allowed 420, while the Sox have scored 440 while allowing 401. That gives the Sox a 2 12-game advantage over Detroit in the expected win-loss category, which certainly seems like good news.

But, as expected when one team is on a five-game winning streak and the other a five-game losing streak, Detroit has moved closer to the White Sox in the last week. Since last Monday, Detroit has a 37-29 run differential, only marred by a 13-0 drubbing at the hands of the Angels on Tuesday. The White Sox in that same span have a 17-40 run differential.

So in the last week, Detroit is 8 runs, while the Sox are -23. These kind of things happen with the normal peaks and valleys of a full season.

The Sox are a better team than they've shown in the last week, and the smart money is on them eventually righting the ship. But the concern, though, is that Detroit is finally hitting their stride.

Since the start of July, Detroit is 13-4 with a run differential of 100-70. This run Detroit's on doesn't appear to be a mirage, like Baltimore's season can be viewed.

Just because Detroit appears to be who we thought they were doesn't mean the Sox should pack things up and won't ever be in first again this season. Far from it, and that doom-and-gloom attitude doesn't have much of a leg to stand on in late July.

But a sleeping giant has woken up, and the Sox have to buckle down and fight it.

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

Today on CSN: White Sox square off against Padres

The White Sox are back in action in spring training as they square off against the San Diego Padres. Coverage begins this afternoon at 2 p.m. on CSN!

Probable starters: Jhoulys Chacin vs. Dylan Covey

Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes

Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch

In-Game Live: Follow along during the action all game

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.