White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin reported to camp Wednesday (actually Tuesday night) and said that this is as close to 100 percent that he has felt physically in a year. Quentin said his problems with plantar faciitis has quieted down significantly to the point where it’s under control.
I asked Quentin if a couple of days off a week as a designated hitter might keep him healthy. He said that he was open to anything Ozzie has in mind as far as the lineup goes, that a DH slot for a hitter would probably help him stay fresh.
According to the New York Times, Major League Baseball has said that minor league players will be tested for HGH this season. I asked Quentin if he had any problem with that.
“Yes (it’s OK) as long as it’s done efficiently and the players’ rights are respected. I have no problem with that. I think it’s a good thing.”
Center fielder Alex Rios admitted that he had a lot to prove with the White Sox this season. Rios, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto Aug. 12 of last season, hit only .199 in 41 games for the South Siders.
COMPETITION FOR RIOS
Rios said that he’s comfortable at any of the outfield positions and he’s mentally ready for the challenge of playing center field every day. Rios, responding to Andruw Jones’ assertion that he’s going to win the center field job:
“He’s a good player,” Rios said. “He deserves the opportunity to win the job.”
Rios continued with this zinger, “I was a big fan of his when I was growing up. Having him in the clubhouse will be great.”
For the record, Rios is 29 and Jones is listed as 33 and came up to the majors as a 19-year old rookie in 1996.
PIERRE RESURRECTED AGAIN?
Outfielder Juan Pierre said his experience being benched and then resurrected in Los Angeles was both a humbling and positive experience. In 2008, Pierre was sat down when the Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez for the last two months of the season. When Ramirez was suspended last spring, Pierre came off the bench to ignite the LA offense and give the Dodgers a big division lead over the 50 games that Ramirez missed.
The White Sox, who always liked Pierre, noticed the way he responded for the Dodgers and put him on their list for offseason trade possibilities. I asked Pierre what his thoughts are about playing in the American League for the first time. He said that it wasn’t that big of a deal and that even though the American League is more of a hitter’s league, the White Sox might play a different style of baseball this year. Pierre has a close, personal relationship with manager Ozzie Guillen stemming from their 2003 attachment as coach and player for the World Series champion Florida Marlins.
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen’s 20-minute post-workout interview with the media was all about his Twitter account. Zero questions were asked of Guillen about the team.
Second baseman Gordon Beckham told me he added 10 pounds of muscle in the gym over the winter. I asked Beckham if he did it to hit more home runs. He nixed the idea of home runs, telling me that it’s about being stronger and having more endurance for what will be his first 162-game season.