Ventura to utilize entire roster during early games
Wants everyone to have chance to contribute
KANSAS CITY -- It's way too early to draw any conclusions about the White Sox based on one subpar effort during Monday's 10-1 Opening Day loss to the Royals. So, it's equally early to label Robin Ventura's Wednesday lineup against Kansas City southpaw Danny Duffy as his right-handed platoon.
But versatility becomes one of the by-products from general manager Rick Hahn's flurry of offseason moves. So when you have a player in Gordon Beckham, who hit .293 against lefties in 2014, and another player such as Conor Gillaspie, who hit .221 against lefties, using Beckham makes sense.
"We knew coming in that he was going to be able to do that kind of stuff. I want to see it happen as soon as you can," said Ventura of putting Beckham in at third base Wednesday. "It's a good matchup getting him in there.
"Even with [Carlos Sanchez]. We have Sanchey for a little while, so we'll be able to get him in there against a tough lefty. It's a good time to do it."
Sanchez started at second base Wednesday and should be with the team until Sunday, when Chris Sale is activated, unless the White Sox decide to go in another direction and keep the switch-hitting infielder. Beckham will be able to spell both Gillaspie at third and Micah Johnson at second against tough lefties, and he's excellent defensively, so there's no drop off in the field.
Geovany Soto gets the start behind the plate Thursday afternoon in the series finale, and Ventura left open the option of using Soto and Tyler Flowers as the designated hitter against certain tough lefties -- with one catching and one at DH. It's an idea Flowers mentioned at the end of Spring Training.
As for having Soto primarily catching Jeff Samardzija, whom he knows particularly well from their Cubs days, Ventura said it's possible.
"I haven't really gotten into the personal catcher part of it," Ventura said. "I don't think that's necessarily it. [Samardzija] has thrown to both guys. I see Geo playing tomorrow, definitely. You'd like him to be able to get in there a couple times a week."