05/13/08 10:49 PM ET
Dye up, Konerko down a slot in lineup
Guillen decides against big changes after Monday outburst
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Manager Ozzie Guillen had thought about making more than the one change. But on the heels of Monday's seven-run outburst against the Angels, Guillen decided to leave well enough alone.
"After we scored seven runs, it's not fair to the players to start moving the lineup around," Guillen said. "The thing is, it's all about the team; it's all about together. If a couple of guys struggle, hey, that's going to happen."
Dye currently features the team's hottest bat, entering Tuesday's contest with 11 hits in his last 22 at-bats, covering six games. The right fielder has three home runs, five RBIs and a .955 slugging percentage over that stretch.
The fact that Dye didn't know he was hitting cleanup until the media questioned him about it before the game shows the climb in the order doesn't really affect the veteran.
"It's not big to me," said Dye, who has hit third in two games, cleanup four times and has batted fifth on 27 occasions this season. "I don't think it matters where any of the three of us [Dye, Konerko, Jim Thome] hit. If a guy is swinging the bat better, they are going to put guys in different spots and see if they can get this lineup going.
"I've hit fourth or fifth my whole career, so those are the spots I'm used to hitting in. I guess you can get used to [a lineup spot] if you have been doing it for 10 years, but I think whether you are hitting three through five or six, you are an RBI guy and driving in runs. To me, that's what I try to do."
Konerko has four hits in 17 at-bats to start this road trip, holding a .218 average with five home runs and 22 RBIs. But Guillen sees his captain starting to swing the bat better and made the move to take advantage of Dye and give Konerko a chance to relax a little bit.
"I don't want anybody carrying the load. I don't want anybody going out there and thinking, 'I have to do this,'" Guillen said. "Just go out there and give your best at-bat and see what happens. That's the only reason I'm doing it.
"Hopefully, we don't have to do it too long. Hopefully, Konerko gets back on track. Thome's back on track. I tried to make a drastic move, but we scored seven runs yesterday. When you score seven runs and all of the sudden you start making lineup changes, I don't see a reason. I just do it so Paulie can feel more comfortable, so he can relax in the lineup."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.