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Conditions may be affecting Keppinger's cold start

CHICAGO -- Robin Ventura pointed to the cold and windy first-week weather conditions as part of the reason for Jeff Keppinger's 1-for-21 start and 0-for-19 funk. Aside from pulling the ball a little more than he usually does, Ventura believes that Keppinger looks normal at the plate.

This slump also could be a bit more heightened with these being Keppinger's first at-bats of the season, instead of coming in June or July.

"When it happens in the middle [of the season], you kind of have something to base it on," Ventura said. "You were swinging it good before. They are never fun. They are never good to go through, but again his track record with the way he swings the bat, you just wait for it to turn.

"You kind of go from that. Again, it's not easy to hit right now. So maybe going out on the road will be a good change and will help on the psyche.

Keppinger got the day off Sunday, with left-handed hitting Conor Gillaspie moving into the lineup. Gillaspie played every day at the Minor League level over the last four years, but is adjusting to a reserve role for the White Sox.

"It's tough, but it's something I'm going to have to get used to and do my best at that role," Gillaspie said. "Obviously, the days I'm not playing, I can do a little bit more as far as in the weight room and extra work and things like that. That's just part of life."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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