Quentin's benching gets reprieve

May, 12, 2010
5/12/10
1:02
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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[+] EnlargeCarlos Quentin
Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesCarlos Quentin has a supporter in White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Carlos Quentin is back in the lineup Wednesday only because Andruw Jones came up with a stiff neck.

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen brought Quentin into his office an hour before the game and talked to him about his approach and put him back in the lineup batting sixth.

Quentin, who is batting .185 with four home runs and 20 RBIs, was being benched because he struck out three times in Tuesday night's game. Guillen wanted him to have a couple of days off in a row considering they also have an off day Thursday.

"I think to me Carlos right now is desprate for a base hit," Guillen said. "Sunday he walked a couple of times, he had some hits, he made them throw strikes to him. Right now he's swinging at bad pitches. He's caught in between on his swings. I've never seen Carlos swing at as many bad pitches as I've seen him do this year."

Quentin had a breakout season in 2008 hitting 36 home runs and driving in 100 runs in five months. Guillen doesn't think that year is a aberration.

"I don't think when you put up those numbers that you're lucky," Guillen said. "This guy has talent. You watch [Minnesota Twins catcher Joe] Mauer hit, it's unbelievable. He goes to bat very relaxed and hits the ball where it's pitched. That's a professional hitter. Take what they give you."

Quentin is a more relaxed player and maturity is certainly a sign of that as he prepares to tackle this latest slump.

"Definitely two or three years ago this would have been a little rougher for me," Quentin said. "I mature every year and try to be professional about everything and deal with it accordingly."

  • Although the management team has not considered sending Gordon Beckham to the minor leagues to get his swing straightened out, Guillen was upset with the young second baseman last week when he took his offensive woes to the field and looked unorganized. Guillen benched Beckham on Saturday and had this message for him: "We shouldn't be talking about [being demoted to the minors] because all of a sudden you put more things on his mind. But I've told him if you ever looked like you did a couple days ago you're going to the minor leagues. When you struggle, you have to be a man. It's easy to play this game when you're going good. I told him if your body launguage is like this you'll be playing for [Triple-A Charlotte manager Chris] Chambliss."I told Kenny and Rick what I said to him [Beckham]. Kenny said to me 'Are you crazy?' But my job is to make these guys play the right way, and I will do that."
  • Guillen was thrilled that the Blackhawks defeated the Vancouver Canucks in Game 6 of their NHL playoffs series on Tuesday. "We need the Blackhawks to eat some [San Jose] Sharks [the Hawks' opponent in the Western Conference finals]. I've got some people in San Jose. I text them that the Blackhawks can fish. We need that for the Chicago sports fans. We're desperate in Chicago. I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. This is a great sports city. There isn't a more fun sports city than Chicago when the teams are winning."
  • Bruce Levine | email

    Chicago baseball beat reporter
    Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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