Orlando Hudson happy to do whatever White Sox ask
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com May 22, 2012 10:18PM
Gordon Beckham cracks a solo home run in the first inning Tuesday night. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Twins at Sox
The facts: 7:10, CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The pitchers: Scott Diamond (3-0, 1.40 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (4-2, 2.91).
Updated: July 2, 2012 10:05AM
Orlando Hudson is ready for whatever the White Sox have in mind, including third base, a position he hadn’t played since his minor-league days when he entered there as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning Tuesday.
‘‘A lot of guys have moved over — Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez, Omar Vizquel,’’ the Sox’ newest acquisition said. ‘‘I guess I’m going to join that gang. They might ask me to catch. Whatever they ask me to do.’’
Hudson handled one chance cleanly Tuesday, then singled in his at-bat in the ninth. He’s penciled in to start at third Wednesday.
Hudson’s infield career has been as a second baseman, but Gordon Beckham is stationed there. Third baseman Brent Morel is the missing piece now, placed on the disabled list with a lumbar back strain.
‘‘[Hudson will] take some ground balls at third, and we’ll see how comfortable he is there,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘That’s more of an option with Gordon at second, so he’ll have to get used to playing some third. He gives us some flexibility.
‘‘He’s played a lot of infield. He’ll have to be able to fill in at third and second and pinch-run, things like that.’’
The Sox signed Hudson, 34, for the season soon after his release Thursday by the San Diego Padres.
‘‘I’ve known [general manager] Kenny Williams a long time, and I know he won a World Series in 2005 by putting together a great ballclub,’’ Hudson said.
In his 11-year career, Hudson has played with four other teams and previously played with Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jesse Crain.
‘‘He goes out and plays hard, and he’s not short of words,’’ Crain said of Hudson, who has had personality issues in the past. ‘‘He brings some excitement.’’
Ventura wouldn’t speculate about how long Morel might be out.
‘‘I want him to get healthy first,’’ he said.
The Sox were hoping the momentum of their three-game sweep of the Cubs would carry into the six-game homestand against the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians.
‘‘To get the pitching we did makes it a heck of a lot easier to win,’’ said Paul Konerko, who missed most of the Cubs series after being hit in the face by a pitch. ‘‘There’s always a tendency to have a letdown after the Cubs series. We have to make sure we come out with the same energy we had over the weekend, or as close as we can, and not drop the ball.’’
The Sox are 8-3 in the teams’ last 11 meetings but have lost 11 of the last 14 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Minor-league outfield instructor Daryl Boston is filling in for first-base coach Harold Baines, who is attending his daughter’s graduation.