Andruw to get outfield time
White Sox won't limit veteran to designated hitter
CHICAGO -- With five right-handed starters scheduled by Cleveland and Minnesota, the right-handed-hitting Andruw Jones might not find many at-bats in this first homestand. When Jones does get out on the field, though, manager Ozzie Guillen said on Wednesday that the veteran will get plenty of time in the outfield."I'm pretty sure when Jones is in the lineup, he'll be in the outfield. That's what we think," Guillen said. "Maybe I might change or not. He's one of the best outfielders we have." Jones came 30 pounds lighter to camp in February, on a mission to show he not only could contribute at the Major League level but also could play center field. He told MLB.com at the end of March that he came to Spring Training knowing his own goals, but it was up to the White Sox to put him where they wanted. During Cactus League action, Jones showed the ability to handle all three outfield positions. That performance could mean Juan Pierre moving to designated hitter for a game, with Jones starting in left field. Guillen doesn't feel the need to advise Pierre about the possibility in advance. "I don't have to talk to anyone," Guillen said. "If they have any questions, that door never closes. It's not about feelings. It's about winning. I check my attitude. It's different. "Sometimes you try to be nice to the players and when they leave here, they talk [garbage] about you. They have the right now to talk."
Beckham shows aggression out of gate
CHICAGO -- The two hits and two runs scored from Gordon Beckham in Monday's 6-0 victory over the Indians weren't exactly a surprise coming from one of the American League's top rookies in 2009.His aggressive baserunning, though, showed a commitment to manager Ozzie Guillen's high-energy style of baseball right from the start of 2010. Beckham took advantage in both the third and fifth innings on Jake Westbrook wild pitches, and actually was upset he didn't advance another extra base when the opportunity presented itself in the third. "Ozzie wants us to be aggressive, and there was a ball in the dirt I didn't go on from first base," said Beckham, speaking prior to Wednesday's contest at U.S. Cellular Field. "I could tell [Guillen] was a little upset I didn't go, and I was a little upset with myself. I felt like I probably could have gone. "So, I got to second and thought, 'You see it in the dirt, take off.' Ozzie is not going to be mad if we don't make it. It's something I didn't do very well in Spring Training, but I took off once I saw it in the dirt." Beckham scored on Mark Kotsay's fielder's-choice grounder in the third and scored on Kotsay's bases-loaded double play in the fifth. He would have come home without the extra base advancement in these two scenarios, but Beckham understands how being aggressive puts pressure on the other team as well as giving the big hitters in the middle of the order extra opportunities for RBIs. "When I got to second, King [Paul Konerko] was up and [Carlos] Quentin was on first," Beckham said. "It was one out and I thought, 'If I can get to third, a fly ball or muffed ground ball scores me. As a hitter, when a guy gets on third with less than two outs, it's a little safety net. "It's a chance to drive in a run without a hit, less pressure, not that King needs it at all, but everything helps. You just do it. It's reaction. Ozzie doesn't want us to be stupid. He wants us to be intelligent baserunners but err on the side of aggression. So, be more aggressive than passive."
Floyd ready to build on past success
CHICAGO -- Don't look solely at Gavin Floyd's 11-11 record from 2009 to declare his second full season with the White Sox a step down from his breakout 17-8 effort in '08."Actually, I felt like I pitched better than the year before," Floyd said. "But wins and losses, they happen some days, and some days they don't. You just kind of take it for what it is. Don't put too much purpose behind those things. You just don't put everything on those things." Thursday's series finale against Cleveland features Floyd's first start of the campaign. His sore left hip that cost him the last two weeks of the 2009 season has healed, and Floyd is looking forward to not just improving on his .500 mark but consistently giving the White Sox a chance to win. "This is definitely different from Spring Training," Floyd said. "The fans, atmosphere. You are playing for a purpose now, more of a purpose, winning a game. You try to keep the same attitude, the same mindset and try to go out there and focus on each pitch."
Talking about the Opening Day record
CHICAGO -- Billy Pierce didn't really know about his White Sox record for Opening Day starts until Mark Buehrle got close to breaking it."Truthfully, it stood quietly until two years ago," said a smiling Pierce. Pierce stands as one of nine White Sox players to have his jersey number retired. The seven-time All-Star believes Mark Buehrle will have that same sort of recognition once his career comes to a close, but the two legendary lefties didn't discuss such matters on Monday after Buehrle set the new mark at eight. "No, I have never gone into the clubhouse," Pierce said. "I figure my day has passed, so I never go into the clubhouse."
Third to first
Guillen reiterated a point he made at the end of Spring Training to veterans such as Andruw Jones and Omar Vizquel, concerning hanging with him at the start of the season when at-bats are scarce. "The guys play every day don't need a day off, but I'll get them in the lineup as soon as I can to start a game," manager Ozzie Guillen said. ... According to Team Marketing Report, the White Sox have the fourth-highest average non-premium ticket cost in Major League Baseball at $38.65. They trail the Red Sox, Cubs and Yankees and ranked fifth last year. ... Guillen made a brief trip back to Venezuela during the White Sox off day ... Mark Buehrle will receive his 2009 Gold Glove on Saturday, prior to the game with Minnesota. The Gold Glove is at the ballpark. ... Here's a closing comment from Gavin Floyd on Buehrle's spectacular play Monday. "We were all shocked and amazed at what he did," Floyd said. "To think about that and try to attempt that, it takes creativity.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.