Sunday, May 8, 2011
White Sox searching for a No. 2 hitter
By Doug Padilla
SEATTLE -- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said this week he was tired of flip-flopping his lineup in search of the right combination, yet he nearly made another adjustment Sunday.
With Alexei Ramirez struggling in the No. 2 hole, Guillen said he contemplated putting rookie Brent Morel there. In the end he decided against it and had Ramirez batting second and Morel in the No. 9 hole again against the Seattle Mariners.
“I don’t think Alexei is the typical second hitter,” Guillen said. “The only one we have here, he handles the bat well, is Morel. Morel can swing the bat, put the ball in play. But right now I will wait until Morel gets better and put Missile down there and we can put Morel batting second. I almost did it today, but I don’t want to get too anxious just because he had three hits [Saturday]. If he continues to swing the bat, we'll see.”
Ramirez has embodied the White Sox’s struggles with clutch hitting. He hit into two double plays in the early innings Saturday when it looked like the White Sox were threatening to score.
Heading into play Sunday, Ramirez has just three hits in 22 at-bats this month and has watched his batting average fall to .242.
“When we need to score some runs we try to do too much and we don't do anything,” Guillen said. “We have to relax, get men on base. Especially with men on base, the pitcher is [in trouble] not him. Last night, [Ramirez] was very anxious. He swung the bat and almost hit his neck.
“We deal with that the last couple of years. When this kid swings bat well, he can help. But that's the way it is -- you're not going change one guy from one year to another.”