GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A few notes from Chicago White Sox camp on Sunday at Camelback Ranch:
When asked if he wants to be an everyday outfielder, Kosuke Fukudome was vague, saying through his interpreter that “I’m going to take it step by step, game by game and just contribute all I can.”
Manager Robin Ventura said Fukudome does a lot of things well but, “I don’t know exactly how that fits in right now... You get different situations where somebody needs a day, or a tough righty you put him in there. Fundamentally, a really good player.”
Time and again, Ventura has said that players are getting a clean slate to start the season. But how long of a leash he’ll give players who need to perform better than last season remains to be seen.
Players who are on the comeback trail from injury, like former 2009 first-round draft pick Jared Mitchell, are also receiving the benefit of the doubt.
Mitchell, who won a College World Series title and BCS title with LSU in 2007, missed the entire 2010 season with a torn ACL. He hit .222 with 183 strikeouts in 477 at bats at Class A-Kannapolis last season.
“He’s a great talent,” Ventura said. “For me, you look at what he’s had done in the past couple of years and injuries have really slowed him down. I’m looking forward to him being healthy and seeing what he can do. You just look at him as an athlete. You see a lot of potential.”
“Again, that’s a tough one, to already put numbers on somebody,” he said. “Again for me their approach, you can just tell when guys are playing to potential and when they’re kind of getting down because sometimes that can swallow you up. We’ll kind of assess it as it goes along but, again, we’re looking for them to do obviously more than they did last year.”
Ventura likes what he’s seen from Addison Reed, the organization’s top-ranked prospect according to Baseball America, and thinks he has all the qualities of a closer.
“He’s confident, a live arm and kind of a weird angle, too, so he has a lot of deceptiveness as well as everything else you’d like to have,” Ventura said. “But I just like his attitude, his confidence going out there and being able to do a couple of different things.”
In terms of when Reed will be ready to step in the closer role, Ventura said: “I don’t know if that’s going to happen right now.”