Ventura likely to go with 12 pitchers for White Sox
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter February 17, 2014 10:44PM
Updated: February 18, 2014 2:22AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — As taxing as it might be on the pitching staff, the White Sox have had discussions about using an 11-man unit when camp breaks, although manager Robin Ventura said Monday that starting the season with the customary 12 pitchers is the best bet.
“It’s not ideal,’’ Ventura said of going with five starters and six relievers, “but it’s always a possibility to be able to do that. We have gone with 13 at points the last couple of years, which doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility bench-wise. Depending on who we have and how that bullpen is set up and how the starters go, you’re going to have to have guys go deep into the game if you’re going to have 11 because you’re running that bullpen a little thin.’’
With 12 pitchers, having three first-baseman/designated-hitter types in Jose Abreu, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko leaves room for a backup catcher, outfielder and infielder on what must be considered a thin bench.
“Right, that’s how we’re set up,” Ventura said. “Through the spring, we’ll figure that out, but right now I would see it at 12.’’
A trade, which is a possibility, could alter the makeup of the roster. Barring one, Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton, Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo occupy the outfield. Jeff Keppinger, Conor Gillaspie and Matt Davidson are crowding third base.
Someone is going to have to back up Alexei Ramirez at shortstop. Keppinger and second baseman Gordon Beckham are able, if not ideal.
“There are parts that are going to be tricky,’’ Ventura said. “Going through spring, it solves itself. Hopefully a lot of guys play well, and there are a lot of tough decisions. That’s part of going through this many games, that you can figure this stuff out.’’