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Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Teahen: No excuses for spring struggles

By Bruce Levine

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was happy for third baseman Mark Teahen, who had his first home run of the spring on a two-hit day after struggling with a .143 batting average up until this point of the spring.
Mark Teahen
Mark Teahen, who has struggled at the plate recently, hit his first home run of the spring on Wednesday.

“Everybody was up on the bench and happy,” Guillen said. “This kid has been struggling, but this is a good game for us.”

Even after his good day at the plate, the Sox continue to monitor Teahen’s progress as he attempts to recover from some lingering right elbow soreness. Teahen, who was acquired from the Kansas City Royals on Nov. 6, 2009 for Josh Fields and Chris Getz, has been struggling not only physically but also with trying to make an impression on his new team.

“It’s spring training,” Teahen said. “So I have some time to get where I know I need to be. I do know I put some pressure on myself because I wanted to have a good first impression with everyone here. I haven’t played all that well. Luckily, I’ve done this for a few years and I know how to get ready for the season.”

It appears that Teahen’s elbow has improved dramatically over the last few days, but if he has a relapse with the injury, the Sox have fortified their infield backups with Omar Vizquel and Jayson Nix. Both will back up the entire infield, including Teahen.

Asked about toughing out the elbow problem, Teahen admitted that the situation can be double-edged.

“It’s a thing where you try to be tough and not make any excuses,” Teahen said. “But at times, injuries do hamper what you’re trying to do. Just like any ballplayer who’s played for a while, they might be dealing with an injury that the media doesn’t know anything about. Still, to blame an injury for your lack of production is kind of a cheap way out.”

After acquiring Teahen, the White Sox signed the 28-year-old to a three-year, $14 million contract extension.

Finalizing the roster: Guillen said after Wednesday’s game that his final roster cuts will probably come sometime next week. However, he may pare down the number of players in camp on Sunday or Monday.

Guillen and the White Sox coaching staff are trying to figure out whether the team can carry 12 pitchers to begin the season. Reliever Sergio Santos has created problems for the team because of his outstanding pitching so far.

“I got my team,” Guillen said. “We have one guy who is a tough problem. You know who it is. It’s Santos.”

The 26-year-old righty is out of minor league options and would be subject to waivers if he doesn’t make the Sox’s 25-man roster.

“This guy has thrown the ball very good. This is not a rebuilding team we have. We start the first day of the season to try to win games and we’re going to bring the best guys out there that can win the games for us.”