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Monday, April 1, 2013
New surroundings fitting for Rios

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- Chris Sale wasn’t the only member of the Chicago White Sox to embrace a different role as Alex Rios had a productive day in his new lineup spot.

In an effort to split his two left-handed bats further apart in the lineup, manager Robin Ventura moved Rios into the three hole this season, while dropping Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko to the cleanup and fifth spots respectively. Konerko will likely bat cleanup against left-handed pitching.


Instead of doing too much in a higher profile role, Rios took what was given, recording two singles and a walk in four trips to the plate in Monday's 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals. He had the White Sox's first hit of the season with a first-inning single up the middle.

After playing for his native Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, Rios had the advantage of already facing high-pressure at-bats before the season started. It could help him take things in stride in the early going instead of getting outside of himself to make things happen.

“I don’t see him (pressing),” Ventura said. “I think the work he did last year, I don’t think he’s changed his mindset at all, his approach or anything like that. Him hitting third, fifth or even leading off, I don’t think he’d change. He’s confident in what he’s doing now.”