Ventura to insert Konerko at first base

August, 3, 2013
8/03/13
5:04
PM CT
By Chuck Pleiness
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive
DETROIT -- Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he wanted to get Paul Konerko back at first base sometime during their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers.

That opportunity comes Saturday night for Konerko.

“I talked to him [Friday], and he said he felt good enough to do it,” Ventura said before the White Sox’s game at Comerica Park against the Tigers. “It’s just one of those [games to] get him back and get him back in the swing of things.”

Konerko returned to the White Sox lineup July 22 after missing nearly four weeks with lower back tightness.

“I haven’t played first in a while, so I’m sure there will be some [moments when] the game gets a little fast making all the movements,” Konerko said before the game. “I’ve been taking ground balls, so I try to stay as sharp as I can, but nothing’s like the real game."

He’s strictly been Chicago’s designated hitter since returning.

“Last week, I think back-wise, you’re just trying to get him through that,” Ventura said. “In Cleveland, he had a little something going on, but he’s better now so he’s able to go out there.”

Ventura said Konerko just didn’t feel right running around the bases in Cleveland, so the decision was to delay his return to first base.

Konerko last played first base on June 23.

“The first one in a while is always a little weird, but I’ll get through it and, hopefully, I’ll get to the point where I can play a good number in a row and give Adam [Dunn] a rest,” Konerko said.

Dunn has played every game at first base except one while Konerko worked his way back to the lineup. Dunn will be the DH Saturday night.

No run support: Friday marked the 20th time this season Chicago has been held to one run or fewer.

“It’s frustrating. I’ve been in that situation as a hitter, and you don’t feel good about it,” Ventura said. “It’s hard enough to pitch and do everything right, but when guys are pitching that well and you’re not giving them any run support, it’s frustrating. You get down and everything else. You’re just looking for a break.”

A great example of things just not going the White Sox’s way came in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Tigers. Ventura decided to call for a hit-and-run with pinch runner Jordan Danks on first base and Gordon Beckham at the plate with one out. With Tigers second baseman Ramon Santiago shifting toward the bag, Beckham grounded right to him for an easy double play.

“We were just trying to get something going instead of just bunting him over,” Ventura said. “Gordon hit it hard, but it just so happened to be right where the guy was running to.”

The White Sox were fourth in the American League in runs scored last season.

“That’s just baseball,” Ventura said. “It’s frustrating. It can be cruel in all those weird ways.”

Wise released: The White Sox made a roster move Saturday, placing outfielder Dewayne Wise on waivers that will allow them to give him his unconditional release.

Wise, 35, had been on the 15-day disabled list since May 30 with a right hamstring and right oblique strain.

“I don’t know if it’s a younger [thing] or how you look at it,” Ventura said. “It’s seeing other guys and seeing what they can do. And also giving him a shot to see what else he can do.”

During his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Charlotte, Wise was hitting just .170 in 16 games.

The move may mean newly acquired Avisail Garcia could be in a White Sox uniform soon.

In a game with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday, Garcia was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and four RBIs. He also drew a walk.

“We’re just looking forward to seeing what we got,” Ventura said. “We’ve seen him from afar, but it’s always different when you get them on your team and you see how they fit in and how you’re going to use them.”

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.03 165 142
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .312
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 96
RJ. Abreu 70
OPSJ. Abreu .973
ERAC. Sale 2.03
SOC. Sale 165