05/17/12 9:47 PM ET
Bat won't guarantee Viciedo start in NL parks
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
With the White Sox weekend series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs looming, the prospect of Interleague Play will force manager Robin Ventura to move Adam Dunn out of the designated-hitter spot and into left field.
Unfortunately for Ventura, it comes on the heels Viciedo's 9-for-18 stretch after Thursday's 6-1 win in Anaheim, during which the current left fielder has clubbed three homers and knocked in eight runs.
Ventura said he will look for spots to get Viciedo at-bats beyond just pinch-hitting appearances. "Right now we've got Adam playing in left field tomorrow, and we'll go from there," he said.
Viciedo played 23 games at third base in 2010. But Ventura said that isn't an option. Currently, Brent Morel, who is struggling both at the plate and with back trouble, is manning the hot corner for the White Sox.
Another option is putting Viciedo in right field, and Ventura said that's unlikely, but not out of the question. Should Alex Rios need a day off for any reason, Ventura said he'd be more comfortable with Viciedo there than Dunn, because of Viciedo's arm strength.
Beckham doesn't tailor approach to lineup spot
ANAHEIM -- White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham has heard all the talk about how No. 2 hitters see more fastballs and get better pitches to hit.
He isn't buying it.
Beckham started his 10th straight game in the two-hole during a 6-1 win over the Angels on Thursday, hitting ahead of Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko. After notching two hits Wednesday night, Beckham hopes he's finding a groove. If he does, it won't be because the pitching is any different, he says.
"That's way over-exaggerated," Beckham said. "Obviously, I've got Adam hitting behind me, and you would think you'd get more fastballs. I get a fair amount, but I've gotten some offspeed pitches in hitter's counts. I wouldn't read too much into that."
Beckham pointed out that he's actually walked more times in the No. 2 hole (six) than he did in 26 games batting in other spots in the order (four). It's counterintuitive, given that No. 2 hitters precede the club's big RBI men, and opposing pitchers should be doing everything possible to avoid letting them reach base.
Beckham is batting just .197 with two homers, but manager Robin Ventura still sees him as an ideal No. 2 hitter, given his abilities.
"He can hit-and-run, he can bunt, he can run," Ventura said. "We have a couple guys that can do that. It doesn't look as good if he's not swinging great, but I think he's going to. For me, that's where I want him."
In April, Beckham batted ninth in every game he started except one, before making the switch to the No. 2 spot on May 7 against Cleveland.
Beckham then recorded four hits in his first four games before going hitless in the next four. He hopes Wednesday's game -- when he hit a rocket RBI double to left that gave the Sox a short-lived third-inning lead -- is a precursor to more success in the two-hole.
"They're very similar spots," Gordon said of the second and ninth places in the order. "The only difference is one person's hitting in the first inning and the other one's not, usually."
He noted that the goal in both cases is to reach base -- whether to turn the lineup over when hitting in the nine-spot or to put pressure in the on a pitcher before the meat of the lineup when hitting in the two-spot.
The only real difference, Beckham said, comes on the road, when he steps into the batter's box before getting into the flow of the game by playing defense.
"I've hit there before, and I understand what comes with it," Beckham said. "You've got to be ready right off the bat, especially on the road."
A.J. shows no fatigue on day after night game
ANAHEIM -- Facing lefty C.J. Wilson was enough for White Sox manager Robin Ventura to move his left-handed-hitting catcher A.J. Pierzynski down in the lineup one spot, to sixth.
It was not, however, enough for Ventura to give Pierzynski the day off, despite Thursday's 12:35 p.m. PT first pitch after a night game. In fact, Ventura said he'll likely start Pierzynski on Friday against the Cubs, too, even though it's another day game, this one on the heels of a long flight. His decision looked correct after a 6-1 win Thursday, in which Pierzynski had three hits and drove in a pair of runs.
"With the weird schedule, he feels fine," Ventura said. "So we'll just go ahead and have him in there today and probably even tomorrow."
More than anything, Ventura said it's hard to take one of his team's most potent bats out of the lineup. Pierzynski finsihed Thursday hitting .299, with five homers and 26 RBIs.
"Part of it is you have that," Ventura said. "And with some of the rest he got earlier, it pays off at different times, being able to feel strong and play for a while."
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.