Josh Fields can't say he didn't have his chances. As the White Sox and the rest of Major League Baseball roll into the month of June, talk around the South Side is that Gordon Beckham will be rolling with them. The White Sox are currently in fourth place amidst a division plagued by injuries and inconsistencies. Historically, June has been a gracious month for White Sox baseball. Since 2005, the Sox are 64-43 in the month of June.
For the White Sox to pull off a winning record in June, they're going to need to dispose of some baggage. For the die hard Sox fan, the loss of Joe Crede at third base was especially difficult. Crede going north to Minnesota was one of the more difficult realities to swallow. That transition would have been a bit easier to digest had Crede's replacement showed some bullocks. In 153 at bats, Fields has struck out a whopping 48 times, while batting a meager .229. No doubt Fields has explosive moments and has had several multi-hit games this year, but his quality at bats just aren't there. Back in July of 2007 when Crede had two herniated discs in his lower back, Fields was recalled from Charlotte. In the 100 games Fields played, he went to the dish 373 times and registered 125 K's. Pitiful. Let me put this in perspective for those of you as befuddled by these numbers as I am. In his 13 seasons with the Yankees, Joe Dimaggio averaged 637 at bats, while averaging only 34 strike outs per season. Certainly I am comparing apples and oranges, but the Sox cannot afford this ill-fated plate coverage that continues to plague Fields. Following Ozzie Guillen's benching of Alexei Ramirez a few weeks back, Guillen called attention to Fields' inconsistencies. "He's next," Guillen said of Fields' continuing plate struggles. And 90 feet away from where Fields' is fighting off breaking balls, he is also struggling defending third base. In 40 games at third base, Fields' has committed six fielding errors, while turning five double plays. In 2009, among AL third basemen, Fields' ranks only behind Adrian Beltre in most errors committed this season. And how is Joe Crede fairing? In 33 games at the hot spot, Crede has committed just one single fielding error, while turning seven double plays. Crede hasn't turned too many heads at the dish, but his numbers are respectable. In 129 at bats, Crede is batting .240 with nine home runs, while striking out 21 times.