Gillaspie satisfied homework pays off

Gillaspie satisfied homework pays off
April 24, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Conor Gillaspie hadn’t hit a home run since Sept. 2011 before he did so on Monday night. His solo homer off Justin Masterson was the first the Cleveland Indians pitcher had yielded in 59 innings.

But Gillaspie is more satisfied the extra work he put in wound up with a positive result. Through 18 games, Gillaspie has hit .326 with a homer, an RBI and four runs scored.

“I’ve been kind of going through a learning curve of playing at this level so I was just really happy to barrel something,” Gillaspie said. “It is exciting (to homer), but more of the satisfaction came from watching video for a few days and figuring out where I was a little bit off and fixing it and actually having it happen in a game. That was kind of more the rewarding thing for me than hitting the home run.”

Gillaspie --- whose previous homer was Sept. 27, 2011 when he was with the San Francisco Giants --- said the adjustments he made aren’t significant but are to combat the difference in speed of the game from the minors.

Unlike with the Giants, Gillaspie has found opportunity with the White Sox in Gordon Beckham’s absence.

Thus far, White Sox manager Robin Ventura is impressed with how the young third baseman has performed. Ventura also likes the flexibility Gillaspie’s left-handed bat offers.

“From the outside, not having a left-handed hitter somewhere in the middle breaking up the lineup looked like a weakness,” Ventura said. “He’s shown he has the ability to do that. He definitely has earned more time somewhere out there, whether it’s third or first.”

But Gillaspie isn’t concerned with his role. He isn’t worried about how much he plays -- though he has enjoyed this chance. Gillaspie said he just wants to do everything in his power to stay in the majors and he’s open to anything Ventura and the coaches ask of him.

“If they told me to go out and shag 30 balls for BP for every single guy I’d go out and shag 30 balls,” Gillaspie said. “That’s just kind of my personality. I go out there and do what I’m told. Right now with injuries I’ve gotten a chance to play and that’s great. But if the time comes where that might not be my role any more, I’m fine with that too. I’m willing to do anything it takes to stay at this level and contribute.”

Tekotte in lineup

Blake Tekotte is in the lineup and will hit ninth against Indians right-hander Zach McAllister on Wednesday. Tekotte, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres last November, has appeared in two games but is making his first start.

Ventura said he plans to try out Tekotte, Dewayne Wise and Jordan Danks and hopes to go with the hot hand in the absence of Dayan Viciedo.

Tekotte was picked off in a pinch-running appearance on Monday.

[READ: Defense costly again as Sox lose fourth straight]

“Him just getting on the bases was trying to do maybe too much,” Ventura said. “Once you get him out there, you kind of ease their feelings and nerves and whatever it is on the field. Just get him out there and see what he can do. You just mix and match and if one of them gets hot you probably run with it. It’s like with Gordon out you mix and match and you have the ability to do that unless somebody forces you not to.”

Weather notes

Tuesday’s postponement was the 39th game postponed in the 23-year history of U.S. Cellular Field and the second this season. Friday’s game against the Minnesota Twins was also delayed. The White Sox haven’t announced makeup dates for either game.

Ventura said his team needs to learn to better handle the conditions and can’t use them as an excuse for their poor play.

[MORE: White Sox get a 'free night' with game rained out]

“You can give in to that or you can find a way to win,” Ventura said. “The other team is playing in it, too and they’re not necessarily making mistakes or doing little things. We’re at a level where it’s about wins and losses. I’m not looking for a feel good thing right now. We just need to play better, whether it’s raining or cold. The other team is out there too and we have to figure out a way to do it.”