Villar, who is not in the starting lineup for Saturday's game against the Diamondbacks, is apparently in jeopardy of losing his leadoff role if he doesn't pick up his production at the plate. After slashing .285/.369/.457 with 62 stolen bases last season, Villar is struggling to a .213/.285/.330 slash line through 48 games so far this season, prompting Counsell to think about exploring other options at the top of the order. The manager noted his weak .285 OBP as an issue, especially ahead of slugger Eric Thames. Should Counsell decide to look elsewhere for production at the top of his lineup, speedster Keon Broxton could get a shot as the leadoff man.
He was also out of the lineup Friday, so it would seem that something is amiss with Murphy, although no injury has been reported at this time. Wilmer Difo will start at second base and hit eighth.
He is hitting .077 with one home run and a 32 percent strikeout rate over his last 65 at-bats. Nolan Fontana will start at second base and hit eighth.
A groin issue kept Hernandez out of the lineup, but he appears to be past the issue to the point where he'll start at second base and bat leadoff Saturday. Hernandez has been strong at the dish this season, slashing .289/.351/.412 with 13 extra base hits. He'll face Bronson Arroyo in his return to the lineup Saturday.
He is in the midst of a 12-game hit streak, hitting .318/.375/.500 with one home run and two steals in 44 at-bats over that stretch. Scooter Gennett will start at second base and hit seventh against righty Jerad Eickhoff.
A recurrence of some soreness in Pedroia's left knee kept him out Friday, but he will be back at second base for Saturday's matchup. Pedroia is hitting .287/.370/.437 over 87 at-bats in May.
He left Friday's game with back spasms after being hampered by back pain for over a week, and the White Sox will finally opt to shut him down for an extended period. Adam Engel was promoted from Triple-A as a corresponding move.
He has already missed eight games this month with hamstring issues, and will finally sit for an extended period of time to try to overcome the ailment. Andrew Romine and Dixon Machado figure to see time at the keystone in the short term.
Utley's second homer of the season opened the scoring for the Dodgers in the third, and came on the heels of his solo shot Thursday against the Cardinals. The veteran infielder has been much better in May after a dreadful April, as he's now slashing .278/.365/.500 with two homers and nine RBI over 60 plate appearances during the month, after hitting just .122 with one RBI in April.
Despite a drop to eighth in the order, Baez managed to notch one of the Cubs' only two hits on the night against Alex Wood and a pair of relievers. The 24-year-old has broken out in May after a slow start to the season, slashing .311/.325/.595 with six homers and 17 RBI.