The White Sox enter Friday’s game with an American League-high 641 strikeouts, and frankly, it’s too many for their manager. White Sox skipper Robin Ventura prefers more contact and said hitting coaches Todd Steverson and Harold Baines are working with players to improve.
Catcher Tyler Flowers leads the AL with 81 strikeouts, while Adam Dunn is right behind him with 78. Slugger Jose Abreu also has 67 whiffs this season.
“We strike out too much,” Ventura said. “You’re really working on some two-strike approaches. Some guys are going to strike out. Adam’s going to strike out. That’s something he’s done his whole career and live with it. We start looking at it and how we do it as a team, and I just think we strike out too much. A little shorten up with two strikes, put it in play. There needs to be more of that, and guys have to be able to do that.
“We’re hoping it can be corrected ... you have to be able to put it in play. When you start striking out this much nobody has to play defense against you. So put it in play, put pressure on the defense. Shorten up.”
Rain delay might have affected White Sox
The White Sox looked listless at times on Thursday night, an effort Ventura in part attributes to a late start.
The White Sox had only two hits over the final six innings in a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins in a game initially delayed 2 hours, 6 minutes by rain. One White Sox player privately objected, saying Thursday’s game never should have been played in the first place.
But Ventura said the White Sox thought they’d play because the Twins have already had too many games affected by weather in 2014.
“We knew we were going to wait, but we started looking at the radar and knew it was going to end,” Ventura said. “At first you were more concerned about the surface than anything. The way fields drain, it’s pretty good. In the old days you would have been washed out because it wouldn’t drain properly. Thanks to guys like Roger Bossard, they make fields now that drain from underneath so it rolls off the sides.
“Any time you wait around like that, that’s what you end up with.”
After Thursday’s loss third baseman Conor Gillaspie downplayed the notion that the delay hurt the White Sox.
“The other team had to deal with the same conditions and the same stipulations, bouncing around from moving the game back, etcetera,” Gillaspie said. “It just didn’t work out tonight.”
[MORE SOX: Ventura: White Sox consider Jose Abreu a leader]
— Outfielder Alejandro De Aza had two hits on Thursday after three knocks on Wednesday for his first multi-hit effort in consecutive games all season. De Aza is hitting .405 with five doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBIs in his last 12.
— Leadoff man Adam Eaton has reached base in 14 straight games and has a .413 on-base percentage over that period. Eaton has a .338 on-base percentage this season.