Monday, May 26, 2014
Stock watch: Gillaspie keeps on hitting
By Doug Padilla
Conor Gillaspie, third base: Not even a sore Achilles tendon could keep Gillaspie down, as he was unavailable for Saturday’s game because of soreness but rebounded Sunday with two hits. Gillaspie said he was legitimately worried about the injury, which turned out to only be soreness. He has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games and is batting .372 over that stretch. He also has hits in 28 of 31 games this season, while producing a .331 batting average.
Gordon Beckham, second base: Those mechanical tweaks Beckham put into action three weeks ago have done wonders following his struggles upon returning from the disabled list because of an oblique injury. Beckham is batting .393 (11-for-28) on his current seven-game hitting streak and is batting .398 (17-for-45) over his last 11 games.
John Danks, starting pitcher: Twice in a span of four starts earlier this month, Danks gave up eight runs, but that all turned around Saturday when he held the New York Yankees to no runs and three hits over eight innings. After being among the American League leaders in walks entering the start, Danks didn’t hand out a single free pass. The difference seems to have been three separate sessions with pitching coach Don Cooper between starts that fixed some mechanical issues.
Ronald Belisario, relief pitcher: Asked to take over the closer role the past week after an injury to Matt Lindstrom, Belisario revealed just how hard those final three outs can be. Despite being unscored upon in a setup role since April 20, Belisario gave up a run in all three of his save chances last week. He actually saved two of the games, but allowed the Yankees to rally for three runs in the ninth inning Saturday and go on to the victory.
Alejandro De Aza, outfield: So much for that idea that his three-hit game on May 9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks was a sign that the tide could be turning. De Aza is just 1-for-20 (.050) over his last eight games and 3-for-39 (.077) over his last 14. All that from the highest paid outfielder on the club and fifth highest paid player on the club at $4.25 million this season.
Paul Konerko, first base/designated hitter: After finally looking like he had adapted to sporadic opportunities as a bench player, returning to an everyday role in the absence of Jose Abreu is creating another adjustment period for the team captain. Konerko is just 4-for-35 (.114) over his last 12 games. He looked particularly frustrated Sunday, flipping his bat with both hands after a fly out to center field. He was not in the lineup Monday.