St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Alex Rios hasn’t homered since June 9.
Over his last 23 games, Rios is 18-for-89 (.213) with five doubles and five RBIs. His season average has dipped from .288 to .268.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he’s unclear why Rios has struggled so, but suggested uncertainty over his future may be a culprit.
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The only White Sox player last season to receive any Most Valuable Player votes, Rios has been one of the more talked-about names when it comes to trade talk this summer.
“I don’t know the reason exactly,” Ventura said. “He’s not squaring it up as much. He’s staying in the middle of the field. Probably a little of all the rumors going around. That does affect people in certain ways. I don’t know if that’s him, but it’s probably leading to it.”
Reports have had Rios headed to any number of teams the last few weeks. The Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers have all been mentioned as possible suitors for Rios, who is guaranteed $13.5 million beyond this season.
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Rios said thoughts about where he might wind up haven’t affected him.
“It doesn’t,” Rios said. “At this point, we shouldn’t be worried about what’s going to happen because you just can’t control it. You have to wait it out. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. Not much to it.…Like I said, I don’t think about those things. You just have to go and play and it’s something you can’t control. You have to wait until something happens.”
Rios believes he has made some progress in his struggles. He doesn’t think he’s far off from a rebound.
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“I’m in a little slump but these are things that usually happen,” Rios said. “Not for long periods of time. I’m feeling better at the plate, and I guess I’m putting good swings on the ball and it’s a matter of time.”