suntimes
GRINCHY 
Weather Updates

Avisail Garcia might get look in No. 2 spot

Updated: February 26, 2014 9:00PM



GLENDALE, Ariz. — Manager Robin Ventura isn’t ruling out batting Avisail Garcia second in the White Sox’ lineup.

Garcia, who batted third and hit a home run in the Sox’ intrasquad game Tuesday and more fits the profile of a middle-of-the-order hitter, would be one of the bigger
No. 2 hitters in baseball at 6-4 and 240 pounds.

There is statistical and sabermetric data that supports the idea the No. 2 hole is the best spot for a team’s top hitter. Garcia hasn’t proved to be that yet, but he’s not the old-school, hit-behind-the-runner type who bunts, makes contact and slaps the ball around, either.

‘‘He could very easily [bat third], and there’s really an opportunity for him even if we want to bat him second,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘He has that kind of approach at the plate. He does have some speed that you can utilize there. There are some ideas of throwing him in there.

‘‘When you look at it, you like what you see when you see it in there. It might happen.’’

Ventura downplayed the significance of the intrasquad lineup: Adam Eaton, Alexei Ramirez, Garcia, Adam Dunn, Jose Abreu, Dayan Viciedo, Matt Davidson, Tyler Flowers and Gordon Beckham.

‘‘It was just thrown together,’’
he said.

Told that metrics numbers-crunchers might advocate Garcia in the No. 2 hole, Ventura said: ‘‘I don’t know how they feel about it. We’ll definitely go over stuff like that. That kind of information is good to have, but it’s how your team reacts to it and what the feeling is when you see a lineup.’’

Garcia batted .304 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 42 games for the Sox last season. He hit some tape-measure homers during batting practice last season, and captain Paul Konerko described him last week as ‘‘a monster’’ who looks capable of hitting 40 homers this season.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.