Work in Minors a plus for Teahen
Two days with plenty of at-bats help new Chicago player
PHOENIX -- A brief trip down to the Minor Leagues looks to have been the perfect solution for Mark Teahen's Spring Training woes with the bat.Although Teahen finished 1-for-3 in Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Giants, raising his average to .143, the third baseman hit the ball hard in all three trips to the plate. This change came after Teahen played the past two days with White Sox Minor Leaguers, hitting second in every inning during those games. "It was good to just get the reps and seeing the pitches," said Teahen of his Minor League experience. "I was able to stay within my approach a little bit more. "At this point, it's about just getting reps. It settled me down quite a bit to be able to work on a few things and not stress about results. I was seeing the pitches and feeling comfortable mechanically." The story with Teahen is he got a hit in his first Cactus League at-bat with the White Sox and then has managed just three hits in his next 27 at-bats. Teahen has yet to get an extra-base hit this spring and has one RBI. General manager Ken Williams talked about Teahen's offseason work to shorten his swing, only to come into camp with a different hand position and the swing he previously had. Teahen believes the struggles are more about being out of sync. "Sometimes when you try to think too mechanically, you get far away from where you want to be," Teahen said. "I've looked at some tape and stuff like that and kind of know what I need to be doing. "Obviously, it would be great to have a great spring, being this is my first time with this team. At the end of the day, that's not what has happened. But I don't worry about it. "Once the season starts, that's what really matters," Teahen said. "It's one of the worst springs I've had, but at the same time, I've had plenty of springs to know it doesn't determine what my season will be like."
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A sore right elbow also has somewhat affected Teahen's throwing. But he said that problem has subsided and certainly won't hamper him for Opening Day preparedness."Oh, definitely not," Teahen said. "That's the thing, I know every game is reported here and every stat and whatever else. At the end of day, the goal is to get ready for Opening Day. "With the way it feels, I have no worries. It's not a problem. It's soreness. I have not dealt with it in spring before. It sprung up when I was messing with a few different things mechanically. It's under control a lot better than it was week or so ago." One week from Tuesday, as the White Sox get closer to a return to Chicago, Teahen hopes he can make the same positive assessment concerning his improvement on offense. "I'm where I want to be," Teahen said. "[The Minor League games] were definitely helpful." "Great day for us," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen after the team's loss. "Teahen swung the bat very good. He hit the ball three times good. Hopefully that thing will build confidence. Hopefully he can keep it up as long as he can."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.