Ozzie to find Andruw playing time
Jones in crowded outfield mix, but Guillen likes what he sees
ATLANTA -- When a slimmed-down Andruw Jones came to the plate during Friday night's exhibition game at Turner Field, he heard some cheers from Braves fans who remember everything he provided during his long tenure as their Gold Glove Award-winning center fielder.
Jones has experienced some frustrations since leaving the Braves at the end of the 2007 season. But as he prepares for his first season with the White Sox, he has already shown manager Ozzie Guillen that he still has some of the skills that he possessed when they were teammates in Atlanta.
"Andruw will be in the lineup against lefties," Guillen said. "I don't know where. It can in the outfield or as a designated hitter. I don't know where, but I'd rather have him in the outfield when he's playing. I don't want to call him a backup or a fourth outfielder. He's another outfielder."
While hitting .326 and compiling a .543 slugging percentage in the 46 at-bats he had compiled entering Friday night's game, Jones has at least provided indication that he could prove better than he's been while combining to hit .207 in the 1,062 at-bats he's amassed over the past three seasons.
Still, with an outfield mix that includes Carlos Quentin, Juan Pierre, Alex Rios and Mark Kotsay, who has also been a pleasant surprise during the exhibition season, Guillen understands that it will be challenging to give all of them regular playing time.
"The thing about this team is I have the flexibility to change the lineup because I have Andruw and Kotsay," Guillen said. "I have five guys in the outfield who can rotate in the DH spot. It just depends how they're swinging the bat and how they're playing."
Jones started in center field on Friday night and appeared to have some of the range that he seemed to lack when he started to gain weight during his final years in Atlanta.
"I think the way that Andruw Jones played in Spring Training, he should start," Guillen said. "But Kotsay, the same way. Everybody in the outfield has had a pretty good Spring Training."
Floyd brings confidence into season
ATLANTA -- When it looked like Gavin Floyd might be heading toward a forgettable exhibition finale on Friday, the White Sox right-hander displayed an effective slider and managed to escape with a sense of confidence heading into the upcoming season.
Floyd completed his exhibition campaign by allowing just four hits in four scoreless innings of Friday night's 7-2 win over the Braves at Turner Field. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed back-to-back singles to open his outing and then completed an otherwise stress-free start.
"He continued to do the job," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Floyd, who allowed more than two runs in just one of the five starts he made during the spring.
After surrendering first-inning singles to Melky Cabrera and Martin Prado, Floyd used his slider to strike out Chipper Jones, who could only watch helplessly as Cabrera was thrown out attempting to steal third on what appeared to be a hit-and-run.
Floyd gained some revenge in the third inning when he recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Cabrera and Prado before surrendering a Jones single that gave the Braves runners at first and second base. Floyd escaped that jam when Brian McCann flied out to Andruw Jones in center field.
"I threw everything," Floyd said. "The slider was good. I think the slider was working the best for me tonight."
Floyd, who will make his regular-season debut against the Indians on Thursday, surrendered nine earned runs in the 20 innings he completed during the exhibition season. Six of those runs were tallied during his forgettable March 23 outing against the Giants.
Konerko returns after cortisone shot
ATLANTA -- White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko received a cortisone shot in his right hand earlier this week and returned to the lineup for Friday night's 7-2 win over the Braves at Turner Field.
Konerko provided a two-out, first-inning RBI single and showed no signs of discomfort in the other three at-bats he compiled. The White Sox said that the 33-year-old veteran has received a cortisone shot in his hand before the start of previous few seasons.
When the Sox open the 2010 season against the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday afternoon, Konerko will extend his club record to 10 consecutive Opening Day starts at first base.
Konerko, who has hit .348 in 50 at-bats during the exhibition season, led Chicago in homers (28), doubles (30), RBIs (88) and total bases (267) last year.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.