Thursday, February 20, 2014
Full squad spurs lineup questions
By Doug Padilla
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As the Chicago White Sox position players got their legs under them during Thursday’s first full-squad workout, manager Robin Ventura was setting his sights on the first intrasquad game.
Tuesday afternoon’s tilt of White Sox vs. White Sox is the only one scheduled in big league camp and will take place on a field at the club’s complex that is accessible to fans. There is no charge to visit the complex.
After Tuesday’s intrasquad game, the White Sox will then hold regular workouts Wednesday and next Thursday before opening the Cactus League schedule Feb. 28 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There is little to glean from the first workout, but Ventura was content to see his entire offense gathered in one place for the first time this year.
Once games start, Ventura will begin to decide how he will divide playing time between three players, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Jose Abreu, at two positions, first base and designated hitter.
“They’ve known (about it) for a little while,” Ventura said. “You move Adam around, throw him in the outfield, let him run around and get some work in. As far as being used, they know that. We’re going to mix and match and hopefully Jose plays most of the time.”
As for Dunn’s playing time in the outfield, that only seems to be a spring experiment to make sure everybody gets the required at-bats. It doesn’t seem like a plan the manager is ready to carry into the regular season.
“He’s done it in the past where he has gone in left in interleague games, but most of it is to get some work down here,” Ventura said.
Since lineup decisions are out of his control, Dunn will not fret about it and just focus on preparation.
“I’m going out like I do every year,” Dunn said. “No one’s told me it’s going to be a three-man dance so I’m not looking at it like it’s going to be like a rotation deal. I’m not stupid. I see you have a lot of guys that can play at this level. There’s only two or three spots they can play in. Competition’s good.”
As for regular-season lineup decisions, Ventura said those are also far down the road. But he didn’t sound like he would object to using a young player like Abreu or Avisail Garcia in the No. 3 spot.
“I don’t want to start setting any lineups out that would probably change,” Ventura said. “Where we start right now probably is not going to be what it is when we get to the season.”