Tuesday night, White Sox “captain” and first baseman Paul Konerko was hit in the head by baserunner Jarrod Dyson.
He experienced some discomfort throughout the rest of the game but did finish out the contest.
Manager Robin Ventura sat him on Wednesday so he could get two days of rest with the off day today, and after the game Ventura revealed that that Konerko was indeed mildly concussed.
Ventura also said that Konerko will be examined on Friday. If he’s not fully ready, he could be placed on the 7-day DL, in which case he’d be eligible to return next Wednesday.
So the worst case scenario, as of now, is Paulie missing five more games going forward.
Don’t Fret …
While you never want to see anybody hit the DL, especially Paulie, I think this could be a blessing in disguise.
Let’s say he goes in on Friday to be examined and doesn’t quite feel 100% but there’s not that much really wrong. I’m sure he’d still wind up with that brief stint on the shelf.
PK is going through a 4 for 29 slump, has a ton of miles on his legs, and he could use another All-Star break of sorts to help him gear up for the final month and a half.
The team could and probably would call up 1B/3B Dan Johnson, who is currently hitting .268 with 25 home runs and 73 RBI for AAA Charlotte from the left side of the plate. He did have some very mild success in the big leagues, but that was back in ’05 and ’07.
Remembering that he’d only need to start for 5 days, and maybe not even in each of those games, we really wouldn’t be losing much out of the lineup. With De Aza and Youkilis returning Wednesday and Alex Rios most likely returning Friday (lower back stiffness), the lineup would look pretty complete once again, however Robin would decide to draw it up.
This move would make sense all around, as after Konerko is healthy, Johnson fits the bench better than Orlando Hudson does.
Orlando is really just a veteran bat that hits in the mid-high .100′s and plays only 2nd base with full competency. Ray Olmedo may not do much with the bat, but can play 2nd, 3rd, and shortstop pretty well.
So Johnson, who can play 1st base and 3rd, may fit better, especially since starting 2nd baseman Gordon Beckham is extremely durable.
I’d fully expect Johnson to be an upgrade with the bat over Hudson; he would actually be a viable late-inning pinch-hit option.
Johnson will certainly be a September call-up, and many have thought that we should see him sooner than that. If Konerko does briefly go down, it’ll be the right time to give Johnson the nod. Then Paulie can rest up for the last six weeks of the season, get his head in the right place, and come back ready to be a big run producer in the middle of the Sox order like we all know he can be. After that, Johnson could stay with the team and Hudson could be DFA’d.
We will know a lot more about the entire situation on Friday, if not sooner.
~This post was also featured on Zach’s White Sox blog, GrabSomeBench.com~