Conor Gillaspie insistent on being consistent
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com May 2, 2013 10:39PM
Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie snags a sharp ground ball off the bat of Evan Longoria and threw him out at first base in the second inning of the Chicago White Sox 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday April 28, 2013 at US Cellular Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: June 4, 2013 6:43AM
ARLINGTON, Texas — Conor Gillaspie was given a golden opportunity to be an every-day player. Now he finds himself in a daily battle to stay locked in on every pitch while facing a steady diet of major-league pitching for the first time.
“The biggest battle for me is consistency,’’ Gillaspie said Thursday. “I know everybody strives for that, but I have a tendency at times to take a game off or take a couple of at-bats off. You can kind of get away with it in the minor leagues, but at this level, not taking at-bats off is what makes a lot of hitters really good hitters. To be somebody who is a tough out and be someone who always battles and competes is what I want to be.’’
Gillaspie was on the ballot for American League rookie of the month for April. He leads AL rookies in games (25), hits (21), homers (three), slugging percentage (.538) and extra-base hits (seven). He went into Thursday’s game against the Rangers batting .323.
Acquired by general manager Rick Hahn during spring training to add a left-handed bat off the bench, Gillaspie jumped into the daily lineup when Gordon Beckham got hurt.
Outfielder Jordan Danks took flips Thursday but was available only for an emergency.
Danks banged his knee on the outfield wall Friday, but it swelled up on him in the hot tub Tuesday.
† Dewayne Wise was a late scratch with a stiff neck.
Alejandro De Aza took his spot in center field, and Casper Wells , in left, made his first start for the Sox.
† Prized outfield prospect Courtney Hawkins (High A Winston-Salem) suffered a left shoulder strain diving for a ball and will have an MRI on Friday.
John Danks made his first minor-league rehab start for Class AA Birmingham.
Danks’ velocity on his fastball in the first inning was at 84-87 mph, still 4-5 mph below his norm before surgery.
He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs, five hits and a walk. He struck out one Chattanooga batter.