White Sox set spring opener lineup

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White Sox set spring opener lineup

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Scott MerkinVentura's first Cactus League lineup: De Aza 8, Pierzynski 2, Rios 9, Konerko 3, Dunn DH, Ramirez 6, Viciedo 7, Morel 5, Beckham 4, Humber
Mar 04 via web Favorite Retweet Reply
This looks like what Robin Ventura will probably go with on Opening Day, barring an injury. Going with Rios in the No. 3 spot is a gutsy call given his struggles in 2011, but it's actually much better to have Konerko hit cleanup.

By conventional baseball wisdom, Pierzynski is an ideal No. 2 hitter -- someone who makes contact and can move a runner over. So this shouldn't be taken as a criticism of Ventura more as a criticism of conventional baseball wisdom: It's much more important to have a high-OBP guy hitting second than it is someone who can make contact. In seven years with the White Sox, Pierzynski has a .317 OBP.

And this doesn't take into account a player's comfort level at a given spot in the lineup. Although, as a No. 2 hitter, Pierzynski has just a .296 OBP in 437 career plate appearances.

Ventura has said he's not looking to re-invent the lineup wheel, which is fine. He's a well-respected guy, and in his first year of ever managing, there's not much wrong with playing things safe and by the traditional book.

But really, any disagreement over placement of players in this lineup is unimportant so long as Dunn, Rios, Beckham andor Morel hit well. The Sox can score plenty of runs with Pierzynski hitting second if Adam Dunn hit blasting home runs or Gordon Beckham is getting on base at a good clip.

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According to FOX's Ken Rosenthal, trade talks surrounding Sale are intensifying between the White Sox and Nationals that would likely include Washington's two top prospects in RHP Lucas Giolito and OF Victor Robles.

Despite the trade chatter heating up, a source told CSN's Chuck Garfien that the White Sox aren't close to a deal and continue to talk with other teams regarding the White Sox ace.

In an exclusive interview with CSN earlier on Monday, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said trading Sale would be 'very hard' on multiple levels, particularly being satisfied with the package coming back.

Perhaps it's only a matter a time before Sale gets traded, but the White Sox have made it clear they won't make a deal unless they're maximizing their return.