Ozzie switching Sox’ lineup, but Dunn will start off batting third
By daryl van schouwen firstname.lastname@example.org February 27, 2011 10:56PM
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26: Alex Rios #51 of the Chicago White Sox poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch on February 26, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\GYI0063696846.jpg
Updated: June 12, 2011 4:45AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s a good thing his spot in the batting order doesn’t matter one iota to White Sox center fielder Alex Rios. Manager Ozzie Guillen’s announced lineup for today’s Cactus League opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch had Rios in the No. 3 hole Sunday morning. A couple of hours later, Guillen switched and dropped Rios down to fifth.
“I don’t mind; I’ve never had a preference,’’ Rios said. “I could hit ninth, seventh or first, and it would all be the same to me.’’
Guillen has gone back and forth about his lineup ever since slugger Adam Dunn signed a free-agent contract and Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski re-signed. At SoxFest, he said he preferred Dunn third, followed by Konerko and Rios. Then he changed his mind at the start of camp. On Sunday, it was back to Dunn third to give him more at-bats during spring training. By his own admission, Dunn is a slow starter.
‘‘I want to protect Adam and PK with Rios,’’ Guillen said, ‘‘and I can do a lot of things there. Rios can still run the bases and stuff, and A.J. can hit-and-run with [Carlos] Quentin. We can do a lot of things with them.
‘‘I’m just going to start with Dunn batting third in the order and see how it works.’’
Pencils and scorecards ready . . .
Today’s order: Juan Pierre LF, Gordon Beckham 2B, Adam Dunn DH, Paul Konerko 1B, Alex Rios CF, Carlos Quentin RF, A.J. Pierzynski C, Alexei Ramirez SS, Brent Morel 3B. Gavin Floyd will pitch an inning or two and will be followed by Jeff Gray, Miguel Socolovich, Lucas Harrell, Brandon Hynick, Tony Pena, Will Ohman and Jhonny Nunez.
Pitchers scheduled for Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers are Mark Buehrle, Phil Humber, Sergio Santos, Chris Sale, Josh Kinney, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain.
You know you’rea redneck...
When you sit on the end of the Sox spring training clubhouse in what’s know as “Redneck row.” From left to right: Buehrle, John Danks, Jake Peavy, (Vizquel), Adam Dunn, Matt Thornton. With the exception of Vizquel, who is clearly out of his element, all are either hunters, own guns or are from the South. Not suprisingly, the NASCAR drivers who visited the clubhouse Saturday caused the biggest commotion on their end of the room.
Sunday’s intrasquad game was called off because of wet grounds from overnight rain. The forecast for today is sunny and temps in the 60s.
“Mark, the second half of the season he tailed down a little bit. We have to protect him. How, we’ll see. I got to talk to [GM] Kenny [Williams] about it.’’
— Guillen, on Opening Date starter Mark Buehrle, who has logged 30 starts and 200 innings in each of the last 10 seasons.
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
Gordon Beckham’s current weight, after finishing 2010 at around 187. “I am definitely a lot stronger than I was last year,’’ Beckham (right) said. “I want to be as prepared as I can be for another season. I never played the game at around 200 pounds, so this is good. I figured if I got a little bigger, I could do a few more things.’’
Beckham wants to steal more bases (he had four in 10 attempts last season), so he’s hanging around MLB stolen-base leader Juan Pierre to learn something about the art of the steal. Ozzie Guillen wants Beckham to run more, and he prefers him batting second instead of Alexei Ramirez or A.J. Pierzynski because he wants to turn Ramirez loose on driving in runs rather than “small-ball” duties such as bunting and hitting behind the runner.
Number of players who agreed to contracts, announced Sunday. All are under the Sox’ control. The list includes 2B Gordon Beckham, IF-OF Brent Lillibridge, 3B Brent Morel and pitchers Chris Sale and Sergio Santos. Also signed: C Tyler Flowers, IF Eduardo Escobar, OFs Alejandro De Aza and Stefan Gartrell and pitchers Anthony Carter, Kyle Cofield, Freddy Dolsi, Lucas Harrell, Gregory Infante, Nate Jones, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. All are on the 40-man roster for 2011.
Age in years of small Rawlings being used by Omar Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner. “It’s been sitting in the trunk of my car for a long time,’’ Vizquel said. It’s not his gamer, though. Vizquel has one ready to go after breaking it in during the last month of 2010.