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Friday, February 22, 2013
First spring lineup has new look

By Doug Padilla

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The first of what is expected to be many different lineup looks was posted in the Chicago White Sox clubhouse wall in advance of the team's first Cactus League games of the spring.

Alejandro De Aza will lead off and play center field in Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers followed by Brent Morel (third base), Alex Rios (right field), Paul Konerko (first base), Adam Dunn (DH), Dayan Viciedo (left field), Alexei Ramirez (shortstop), Tyler Flowers (catcher) and Gordon Beckham (second base). Dylan Axelrod will be the starting pitcher.

Manager Robin Ventura said over the winter that moving Rios up in the order would be an option since it puts significant space between his two left-handed bats (De Aza and Dunn).

Rios was in the No. 3 spot last season just four times, while Dunn didn't hit from the No. 5 spot at all.

"I think right now you start messing with it, seeing how it works," Ventura said. "Not having a lot of lefties, you've got to space De Aza and Dunn out a little bit. He fits that right now for me."

One factor that could play into the lineup for the spring opener is the fact the White Sox are facing Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, albeit for just an inning or two. The former Cy Young Award winner won't be the only early test as the White Sox will follow that by facing Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner in successive games.

The White Sox will counter that firepower with Axelrod on Saturday, Erik Johnson on Sunday and Hector Santiago on Monday. With extra games this spring, the White Sox have decided to not use anybody form their projected rotation until March 1 when Chris Sale takes the mound.