Tyler Flowers doesn’t know what to make of his future with the White Sox.
The catcher rejoined his teammates for a day Thursday to collect his belongings before he headed home for the offseason. Flowers -- who had shoulder surgery on Sept. 5 and is expected to miss three months -- said he’s ahead of schedule in his rehab, which should have him ready for spring training.
Whether or not he’ll be with the White Sox next season remains to be seen.
With Josh Phegley in the mix, many have speculated the club would opt for a veteran presence behind the plate next season.
“I don’t know,” Flowers said. “I hope to be back. I want to be back, and I want to show I am a better player than what everyone’s seen thus far. I believe that, and I think they believe that too. I’ve got to get my shoulder ready, priority one. Other than that, I’m excited to see what happens. I believe I’m going to come back, and I believe I’m going to be the starting catcher again. I believe I can be a lot better.”
Flowers took over as the club’s starter this season after A.J. Pierzynski departed via free agency. The coaching staff and general manager Rick Hahn have said they’re pleased with how Flowers handled the pitching staff, which was their primary emphasis. But Flowers struggled at the plate, hitting .195 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in 84 games this season.
He also made certain to avoid identifying an injury he felt as far back as last September as an excuse for his play.
“It puts them in a tough spot, when you go out and you perform like I did,” Flowers said. “It makes it pretty hard to name a starting catcher or anything or really not do something differently going into next season. A guy that hit .195 on the year. With that said, obviously I had a couple of things nagging me, and I hope the opportunity is there again at some point. I don’t have a lack of confidence at all. I know what I’m capable of. It’s just a matter of me going out there and doing it.”
Flowers isn’t far from beginning to throw again.
Throwing out base runners is the area that was most affected by the injury and Flowers struggled. He threw out only 23.5 percent of the 68 stolen base attempts against him after throwing out nearly 29 percent from 2009-12.
“We’re a little bit ahead of schedule right now,” Flowers said. “The doc suggested to start light toss in a couple of weeks to get everything moving around a little bit more. But we’re ahead of schedule right now, a couple weeks at least, so that all sounds really good. … It’s pretty much up to me, really. I’m not necessarily worried about hurting anything. It’s more about having the strength and comfort to do it.”