• When Joe Maddon goes to committee mode, you really don't know what you're going to see on a night-to-night basis. J.P. Howell(notes) worked the eighth for Maddon on Friday (one unearned run, two strikeouts) and Dan Wheeler(notes) started the ninth. Wheeler retired two of the three men he faced – two outs sandwiched around a walk – then gave way to lefty specialist Randy Choate(notes), who salted the game away by striking out all-world catcher Joe Mauer(notes). I suppose we could see Choate fall into a few more saves that fit this context, but I'll be very surprised if he finishes the year with more than 4-5 specialty saves.
• Joey Votto(notes) started Friday and took one at-bat but the dizziness problem returned and he was forced out of the game. He's already been ruled out for Saturday and it's possible he might have to go on the disabled list. I don't have any Votto shares this year, but no matter – you hate to see a promising young player battling this type of problem, and let's hope it runs its course soon.
• Two more hits for Billy Butler(notes) on Friday, including his fourth homer of the year. It would be nice to see him drive the ball a little bit more (.448 slugging), but we can't quibble with a .306 May, along with 15 RBIs. He figures to keep batting third for a while.
• Clayton Richard(notes) was outstanding Friday (7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 K) for the third consecutive turn, and you get the idea he'll stick in the White Sox rotation even after Jose Contreras(notes) is ready to come back. Richard looks like a good play next week when he gets to go against Oakland's pop-gun offense (last in the AL in runs scored).
• It's funny how there's been no middle ground to Jason Marquis's(notes) starts this year – he's been hammered in his three losses (14.2 IP, 22 R), and he's been very sharp in his seven wins. His eight scoreless innings against the Padres on Friday were a duck-and-weave act – the Pads put 10 men on base against Marquis – but you also have to give the veteran credit for making some tough pitches when he had to. I'm almost willing to give Marquis a shot next Wednesday at Houston, though the Astros were one of the teams that ate his lunch earlier in the year. Maybe we need more analysis in the lab on this one.• Chris Davis(notes) owners had something to be happy about on Tuesday (two solo homers), but it didn't start a hot streak for the struggling first baseman. He went 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in Friday's doubleheader, and this comes on the heels of a three-strikeout collar on Wednesday. Davis is down to .194 for the year, and he's fanned a whopping 77 times in 167 at-bats.
Injury Blog: Brett Myers(notes) needs surgery on his right hip and it's very doubtful he'll pitch again this year. … Brandon Phillips(notes) (thumb) took BP and infield Friday and he's looking to play Saturday. … It's time for Kazuo Matsui's(notes) yearly DL trip – he's on the 15-day with a strained left hamstring. … Andy Pettitte(notes) left his Friday start in the sixth inning with an undisclosed "lower body" injury. We'll see what the team releases on this Saturday. … As expected, Carlos Quentin(notes) (foot) went on the 15-day DL Friday. Scott Podsednik(notes) has a clear path to playing time when Quentin is out.
Handshakes: Scott Downs(notes) doesn't seem to be limited by his sore hamstring; he picked up save No. 6 Friday with a perfect inning against the Red Sox. … It's not always easy watching Kevin Gregg(notes) (8) pitch, but give the guy some credit – he's righted the ship. His save on Friday was his seventh consecutive conversion, and he's only been scored on in one of his last 11 appearances. … Mariano Rivera(notes) (10) wasn't troubled in the ninth at Cleveland, and he's now got 26 strikeouts against just one walk. … Huston Street(notes) (8) is in a groove right now; he threw eight of nine strikes en route to a 1-2-3 inning against the Padres. … Brad Lidge(notes) (10) threw a perfect inning against the Nats and struck out two, imagine that.
Trevor Hoffman(notes) (12) still hasn't allowed a run this season. … David Aardsma(notes) (7) makes it interesting sometimes – he put two men on in the ninth at Anaheim – but it's hard to quibble with a 1.14 ERA and 13 straight scoreless appearances. The key for Aardsma going forward is cutting down on walks; he's issued 14 in 23.2 innings. … C.J. Wilson(notes) got a win and a save as the Rangers swept a doubleheader from Oakland. Frank Francisco(notes) locked up the Wilson win in the first game, then was rested for the nightcap. … Brian Wilson(notes) (11) cruised past the Cardinals, thankful that Albert Pujols(notes) wasn't part of the assignment.
- Joe Maddon