Lefty bat still on White Sox's radar

January, 15, 2013
Padilla By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- It remains all quiet on the Chicago White Sox front despite the fact the club could still use a left-handed bat to balance the lineup.

The best fit would have been a left-handed hitting third baseman, but the White Sox signed right-handed hitting utility infielder Jeff Keppinger instead and are expected to use him a bulk of the time at third.

The departure of catcher A.J. Pierzynski means that the White Sox are projected to have only two regulars that bat from the left side: Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn.

"We made no secret that it would be nice to have the left-handed bat in there for (manager) Robin (Ventura) to deploy when it made sense, but we just don’t want to get a guy to say he’s a left-handed if he’s not a better option," general manager Rick Hahn said. "We have (Dewayne) Wise or (Jordan) Danks off the bench in the outfield and (Hector) Gimenez is a switch hitter at (backup) catcher."

There is one last area of the bench where a left-handed hitter could be added.

"Perhaps another infielder that can hit left-handed would fit," Hahn said. "Its’ a consideration and would be a nice complement."

The market isn't exactly flooded with lefty-swinging infielders, especially middle infielders, so a minor trade remains a possibility.

Pierzynski was 26th in the American League in batting average against right-handed pitchers last season at .287. But right-handed hitters Alex Rios (.308) and Paul Konerko (.307) were ninth and 10th respectively in the same category, so even though there is one less lefty bat in the lineup, the club still has weapons to work with.

"We're always looking for ways to get better and improve," Hahn said. "Being so right-handed has the potential to be an issue. But given the issue of right-handed pitchers vs. right-handed hitters, it's not as worrisome as it might seem."

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.



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