CHICAGO – Conor Gillaspie’s rookie season has brought unexpected playing time thanks to injuries, and so far he has taken advantage of the opportunity.
Although Gillaspie went 0 for 4 in the White Sox’s 8-3 loss to the Cubs on Thursday, the 25-year-old left-handed hitter is batting .283 this season with three home runs and nine RBIs in 46 games.
“At times, I still have too many at-bats that I just give away,” Gillaspie said. “Honestly, that’s how I feel about it. I’m sure when watching it doesn’t seem like it, but I can usually tell when there’s games here or there where I give away three, four at-bats. It’s kind of frustrating.”
Manager Robin Ventura will have a tough decision when second baseman Gordon Beckham is activated from the disabled list in about one week. Jeff Keppinger has been starting at second during Beckham’s absence, but there is no guarantee he will move back third base where he started the season. Ventura said he plans to start the player who is playing best. As of now, Gillaspie is that player.
“I don’t see [Gillaspie] missing out on a whole lot of opportunities,” Ventura said. “It’s one of those you just got a daily pick, who’s the best guy to have out there.”
De Aza’s struggles: Alejandro De Aza’s days as the Sox’s leadoff hitter could be coming to an end.
De Aza is striking out in nearly 30 percent of his at-bats – 56 strikeouts in 190 at-bats – which is far too great to be hitting first in the lineup. Although De Aza drew two walks in Thursday’s loss to the Cubs, he has walked only 14 times this season. One potential option is moving Alexei Ramirez to the leadoff spot and hitting Beckham second.
“There’s a possibility in certain situations he’s not the leadoff guy,” Ventura said of De Aza. “Does that mean he’s not a good player? No. But you try and shake things up and move guys around.”
Konerko talks hockey: Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was one of about 25 players and staff who attended the Blackhawks’ Game 7 win Wednesday against the Red Wings.
Konerko, along with Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, participated in shoot the puck during the second intermission of Wednesday’s game. While all Game 7s are exciting, Konerko said he believes hockey’s are the best.
“It just seems like guys are out there literally risking injury, guys are blocking shots,” Konerko said. “It’s as good as it gets, especially with a rivalry like that. It was heightened even more if that’s even possible.”