Konerko returns to Chicago, will likely split DH duties

Konerko returns to Chicago, will likely split DH duties
July 21, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Alex Ruppenthal

Paul Konerko was at U.S. Cellular Field before Sunday’s game after a three-game rehab stint with Double-A Birmingham.

Konerko, on the disabled list since July 3 with a lower back strain, went 4-for-10 in the three games, including three hits yesterday. He was not activated for Sunday’s game but could returnMonday, when the White Sox start a four-game series against Detroit in Chicago.

When Konerko returns, he’ll likely share first-base and DH duties with Adam Dunn, which was pretty much the case before the injury.

“Probably split it,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “[Konerko] likes being on the field and you want to take care of him in a way and you know you’re taking care of his back. Him and [Dunn] both like being on the field, so you try and mix it up a bit.”

Flowers handling Phegley’s hot start well

Rookie catch Josh Phegley has hit his way into the Sox lineup since being called up July 5, with three home runs and 10 RBI in just 10 games. His arrival has meant reduced playing time for Tyler Flowers, who is starting Sunday for just the fourth time since Phegley’s call-up.

“That’s part of being a professional, and [Flowers] is a professional,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s going to get his opportunities to play, but when you have a guy like [Phegley] that comes up and has done well, that’s just part of playing the game. He’s handled it well, but he is going to get playing time.”

De Aza hitting to opposite field during hot streak

Alejandro De Aza tied a career high with four hits Saturday, and he’s had multiple hits in five of his last eight games.

Despite hitting 12 home runs in the first half of the season, De Aza is looking more like the contact leadoff hitter his manager wants him to be.

“As of late he’s been a little bit better at going the other way,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Earlier in the year, [he was] maybe a little pull happy, hitting homers, striking out a little too much. Even later in the first half he was getting more hits up the middle. Yesterday, he was just kind of wearing out the shortstop. That’s just a better approach for the leadoff guy.”