ARLINGTON, Texas -- Tyler Flowers is in rare territory this season as for the fourth straight game on Saturday he in the White Sox starting lineup.
Normally the backup catcher, Flowers has started since Tuesday in the place of starter A.J. Pierzynski, who is out with a right oblique strain. Pierzynski is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday, manager Robin Ventura said.
But with a chance to play in four straight games, Flowers said he has been able to move on easier after a poor at-bat because he knows there are more to come.
Flowers is 3-for-12 with two doubles and a walk in Pierzynskis absence.
I think Ive gotten into that a little bit more the last couple of days with a couple of days in a row to play to maybe not worry about each at-bat so much, Flowers said. Youre still grinding it out when youre in at-bat, but maybe not carrying it over today or tomorrow. Just kind of letting it go because tomorrow Ill have another chance to get more at-bats and hopefully something good will happen.
Flowers has admitted this season to struggling with the transition from a full-time catcher to the backup role, where he plays once a week. Through 99 games, Flowers has played in 31 games and accrued 81 at-bats. He is hitting .185 with two homers and two RBIs. But Flowers has already been informed by general manager Kenny Williams exactly what is expected of his performance.
Williams pays more attention to the 3.72 ERA Sox pitchers have when hes behind the plate or the fact that Flowers has thrown out nine of 19 stolen base attempts.
All he needs to do is focus on the defensive side of the game and take care of the pitchers when he's asked to, Williams said in an email. He has done just that. He has a tremendous offensive upside, but you will not see it until the day comes where he plays regularly. All he is asked to do offensively right now is work hard to prepare and fight through his AB's just like everyone else. He has given us just what we needed from the position.
Flowers said his primary goal with at-bats is to battle through them and extend them for as long as he can. His results arent what hed prefer, but as long as he makes the pitcher work he is satisfied and can focus on his real duties.
Im sure Kennys been in my shoes before, Flowers said. Not playing every day is a challenge, its hard. Its challenging mentally, physically you usually feel pretty good. But at the same time, seeing live pitching and stuff, mentally being able to handle that failure 70 percent of the time, its more like 80 percent of the time when youre playing once a week. Its something that has been hard to handle, but hearing stuff like that makes it a little bit easier. It eases your mind a little. But again, the No. 1 job is catching the pitchers and doing a good job behind the plate.