Mark Gonzales joined Chicago Tribune Live on Tuesday to discuss what the White Sox lineup could look like on opening day -- which, by the way, is in less than two months. His breakdown is as follows: Alejandro De Aza, Brent Morel, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo, A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham.
Check out the video for Gonzales' explanations on that lineup. Here's what I would do if given the chance to mold the Sox lineup:
1. Alejandro De Aza: A no-brainer. He gets on base and has good speed.
2. Alexei Ramirez: He's not ideal for this spot (a higher-OBP guy would be ideal), but he gets on base more than a Brent Morel, A.J. Pierzynski or Gordon Beckham and would be great to have ahead of the middle of the order. Putting the ball in play is extremely overrated for a No. 2 hitter -- better to have someone who can get on base here than a guy who doesn't strike out.
3. Paul Konerko: Ideally, I'd like to have Konerko hit cleanup to max out his chances to hit with runners in scoring position. But that would mean Dayan Viciedo would have to hit third, which would probably be too much pressure on the soon-to-be 23-year-old rookie.
4. Adam Dunn: Like Gonzales, I'm banking on a rebound here, although I'm more confident Dunn will bounce back than Rios. It's risky to hit Dunn here, because if he struggles as mightily as he did in 2011, the Sox will have a tough time scoring runs early on. But if he bounces back and has some semblance of offensive production, he'll be a good fit here.
5. Dayan Viciedo: He'll have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs here. Good fit.
6. A.J. Pierzynski: Ideally, Ramirez would hit here with Gordon Beckham batting second, but the Sox won't have an idea if that's feasible until a month or two into the season. Pierzynski isn't the best option to hit sixth, but if Rios struggles, there probably won't be a better option on the team.
7. Brent Morel: His spectacular September power production isn't sustainable, but if he really did turn an offensive corner in last season's final month, he should hit higher in the order than he did for most of 2011.
8. Alex Rios: It'd be a pleasant surprise if Rios' bat could come back around, but he's only had about three good months of offense since coming to the White Sox in August of 2009.
9. Gordon Beckham: He and Rios are probably interchangeable in terms of "guys who need to rebound at the back of the lineup," but Beckham gets the nod at No. 9 probably because he doesn't cost nearly as much as Rios.