White Sox general manager Rick Hahn took a verbal trip to the gridiron in order to provide a frame of reference for where his team stands in the here and now as part of a 162-game baseball season.
With the South Siders getting ready for their seventh game of the campaign on Monday night in Colorado, also marking their first night contest, they are essentially at the equivalent of halftime of the first game of a 16-game NFL season according to Hahn. So, Hahn was hesitant to draw any overriding conclusions about this reshaped version of his team.
"I will say the first five games [before Sunday], we've shown from an offensive standpoint that we're going to grind out every game till the end," Hahn said. "That we have the heart and grind to get back in games, that things aren't over if we're down 3-1 in the sixth inning.
"It's the same higher level of life, energy and competitiveness we saw in Glendale [Spring Training in Arizona] that has carried into the regular season which is good. But to draw any conclusions about any individual performance is too early for that."
Colorado carries a 3-4 record into this Interleague matchup, pitting Felipe Paulino for the White Sox and Jordan Lyles for the Rockies on the mound. The White Sox swept three games at Coors Field during their memorable run to the 2005 World Series crown and then finished 2-1 in Denver during their '11 series. The Rockies took two of three in Chicago in a 2008 matchup.
Charlie Blackmon finished the Arizona series going 10-for-14 with a home run, three doubles, five RBIs, five runs and a stolen base, but he certainly isn't the only threat for the Rockies.
"Every single guy in the lineup is dangerous," Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "It's going to be more than just [Troy Tulowitzki], [Michael Cuddyer], and CarGo. We need every single guy here, especially those young guys who step up and do what they're doing right now.
"Good Rockies teams come back from behind. When we have that confidence in the dugout, it's amazing. You go out and battle every single pitch and believe in yourself and in the team. That's the one thing that we were talking about."
One interesting side note from this series is that White Sox pitchers will get a chance to hit. They took batting practice over the weekend in Kansas City, with a focus on bunting per manager Robin Ventura, after working a little bit in this area during Spring Training.
White Sox: Left field possible but not likely for Dunn
With no designated hitter in play over the three Interleague games at Coors Field, Ventura has given some thought to using Adam Dunn in left field.
Dunn has played 1,019 career games in left field, but has played in the outfield for just 10 games since coming to Chicago in 2011.
"It has been brought up, but it's hard just to stick a guy out there, especially there where the outfield is so big," Ventura said. "We've thought of it. There's a possibility, a slim one, but there's a possibility."
Alejandro De Aza has jumped out to a strong start with three homers as the White Sox left fielder, and Dayan Viciedo also has hit the ball well in his opportunities. Dunn could take a game for Avisail Garcia in right, with right-handers Lyles and Juan Nicasio starting on Monday and Wednesday. There could even be a day to give Jose Abreu a break.
But as the lineup is presently constructed, it looks as if Dunn will be on the bench until the White Sox return home on Thursday to face the Indians.
"You lose one of your guys and we now have a couple of them that more than likely go to a pinch-hit role," Ventura said of the adjustment to Interleague in the National League ballparks.
Rockies: Logan ready to return
Reliever Boone Logan will likely come off the disabled list on Monday and make his Rockies debut during the White Sox series, against the team who presented his Major League break.
The left-handed pick-up from the Yankees is expected to bolster the bullpen, bringing four successive seasons with an ERA of 3.74 or lower to his new club and 51 or more appearances in each of those seasons on his resume. The Rockies are currently carrying seven relievers, and will likely keep everyone, sending one of their six outfielders to Triple-A Colorado Springs to get more at-bats.
Logan pitched for Colorado Springs in New Orleans Thursday and Friday, and appeared sharp in both outings, striking out the only batter he faced on three pitches on Friday. He was placed on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation on March 28, retroactive to March 21.
"That was a good test for him," manager Walt Weiss said of the back-to-back appearances. "It went real well. We'll try to be smart about getting him back in there."
• Cuddyer has a seven-game hitting streak going to start the season. Cuddyer is hitting .433 (13-for-30) for the season with two homers, two doubles, six runs and seven RBIs. He is tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the longest streak to start the season.
• Through six games, Adam Eaton has been as good as advertised at the top of the White Sox lineup and in center field.
"Frankly since the phone call welcoming him to the organization, he's the guy who we thought he was based on our reports and background research," Hahn said. "A high energy guy who will fight through every at-bat, play good defense and run well, and set the tone, not just at the top, but through the lineup as we expected."
• The White Sox April opponents combined for a .532 winning percentage in 2013, the third-highest mark in the American League behind the Orioles (.547) and Angels (.533).
• Paul Konerko needs two hits to reach 2,300 for his career and five total bases to break Frank Thomas' franchise record of 3,949.