- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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Certainly, part of the Chicago White Sox's master plan this winter was to shore up their bullpen and try to make their defense a strength rather than a weakness.
One of the major problems for the White Sox in 2009 is that they basically had three rookies playing at third base, shortstop and second. Growing pains were a big part of the process for Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez and Chris Getz. All three were playing those positions in the major leagues for the first time. (Ramirez was the starting second baseman in 2008). Although Ramirez's game eventually got straightened out last season, the first few months of the year were very tough for him, the pitchers and White Sox management. To put it bluntly, the "Cuban Missile" lacked focus in the field.
"That's why we have [Omar] Vizquel now," manager Ozzie Guillen said when asked about how the Sox would prevent future lapses in the field for Ramirez. "That's why I took him out of the lineup at one point last year, because his offense was affecting his defense."
This season, the White Sox will have five players in different positions than in their Opening Day lineup of 2009. The five position players with new positions will be Juan Pierre in left field, Alex Rios in center, Carlos Quentin in right, Mark Teahen at third and Beckham at second base.