Feeling confident, Ramirez looks to get out of RBI slump

Feeling confident, Ramirez looks to get out of RBI slump
June 21, 2014, 2:45 pm
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MINNEAPOLIS — Alexei Ramirez hasn’t driven in a run since May 26.

He’s hitting .265 over that period, a span of 87 plate appearances entering Saturday’s game.

But after getting out to the hottest start of his career, the White Sox shortstop hasn’t moved his RBI ledger past 36.

“I feel really good,” Ramirez said through a translator on Saturday. “Obviously I haven’t gotten the results that I wanted to. But I feel good.”

[MORE: Bell: Rodon would benefit from signing with White Sox soon]

Ramirez — who this season is still hitting .315 with 31 RBIs with runners in scoring position — has a hit in his last 18 plate appearances with RISP. It’s the polar opposite of what Ramirez did over the first two months of the season but a dropoff is to be expected, manager Robin Ventura said.

“Everybody is going to go through their period of it doesn’t happen,” Ventura said. “He’s been a big part of where we are at right now of being able to drive in runs. So you have to live through it and be able to come out on the other side. I think for him, just hitting it hard and good at-bats will take care of that.”

Ramirez started in the sixth spot in the lineup for the 41st time on Saturday. He sees it as a run-producing spot and likes Ventura’s confidence he can handle it. Ramirez hit sixth only seven times in 2013 with the bulk of his starts coming in the No. 2 spot (83 games).

“I really like (sixth),” Ramirez said. “I like that responsibility. I like the responsibility of bringing runs in and also getting on base for the other guys playing behind me.”

Thome works with Davidson

Special assistant to the general manager Jim Thome brought his personal touch with him when he recently worked with prospect Matt Davidson at Triple-A Charlotte. Thome spent a few days with Davidson, who has 11 home runs but also has a .191/.259/.373 slash line this season.

“Jimmy is really good at just making you feel better about yourself,” assistant GM Buddy Bell said. “Sometimes that’s all you really need.

[RELATED: Robin Ventura on White Sox: 'We strike out too much']

“Just the energy Jimmy gives a player is more important than any mechanical change. Matty just got himself in a situation where like a lot of other Triple-A guys, they just want to get to the big leagues so bad that you start doing some things that are kind of out of character on a mechanical basis.

“He’s doing well defensively and he’s starting to get to a fastball. If you can’t hit a fastball, you can’t play in the big leagues. He’s going much better with that.”

Other notes

— The Baltimore Orioles haven’t announced any starters for an upcoming three-game set against the White Sox. The White Sox will send Chris Sale to the mound on Monday followed by Jose Quintana and Hector Noesi.

— The June 10 rainout between the White Sox and Detroit Tigers will be made up as part of a split-double header on Aug. 30. Game 1 starts at 12:10 p.m. and Game 2 is at 6:10 p.m.