De Aza out, Ramirez in as Sox’ leadoff man? Ventura says it’s possible
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com May 29, 2013 9:22PM
Alejandro De Aza
Updated: July 2, 2013 7:20AM
It might be time for manager Robin Ventura to shake up a dormant White Sox lineup, starting with leadoff man Alejandro De Aza.
De Aza was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly in the Sox’ 9-3 loss Wednesday to the Cubs. He struck out to lead off the game and grounded to second with runners at second and third to end the second inning. De Aza is batting .239 with 56 strikeouts.
‘‘Anything’s possible,’’ said Ventura, who hasn’t been one to make significant batting-order changes this season and last. ‘‘You just have to keep working at it, and we have to find it within our guys. You have to find it because you aren’t going to get any help anywhere else — unless you have a 40-man roster.’’
After the game, Ventura said if he shakes things up, it probably won’t be Thursday. When it was suggested that Alexei Ramirez, who is batting .320 in 19 games since Ventura moved him up to second in the order, might be a leadoff option, Ventura said: ‘‘It is a possibility. Anything, at this point, is on the table.’’
Ramirez is 5-for-14 in his career leading off.
The Sox are last in the American League with 180 runs scored.
Sale to pitch Sunday
Left-hander Chris Sale said he felt normal tightness in his shoulder after throwing three innings in the rained-out game Tuesday. The Sox decided to start Sale on normal rest Sunday against the Oakland Athletics instead of moving him up a day.
‘‘There is nothing really gained [because] he faces the same teams where you would slot him in at,’’ Ventura said.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham will resume playing for Class AAA Charlotte on Thursday and is expected to come off the disabled list in time for the Sox’ home series against the A’s that begins next Thursday, Ventura said.
This and that
Adam Dunn, Ventura’s choice over Paul Konerko to play first base, was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a sacrifice fly. Dunn’s 43 homers against the Cubs trail only Albert Pujols’ 53 among active players, but the Cubs caught him at a good time. Dunn is 1-for-25 with 15 strikeouts in his last seven games.
† Infielder Jeff Keppinger had a season-high three hits and has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games to raise his average to .223.
† With broadcaster Ken Harrelson home with a sore throat, Steve Stone took over the play-by-play on Channel 9. Mike Huff stepped in as the color commentator.