OAKLAND — In search of energy and a change of pace, the White Sox inserted Leury Garcia into the leadoff spot in centerfield on Monday.
The utility infielder is excited about the chance, one he learned about after he arrived at O.co Coliseum. Garcia has seven outfield appearances in his major league career, 10 more in the minors and a handful in winter ball.
“As I soon as I got here I saw the lineup and I was like ‘Ah Oh,’ ” Garcia said with a laugh. “I like it. I love it. It’s fun. They asked me if I wanted to play, if I would like it and I’m like ‘Why not.’ …
“It’s a little different between infield and outfield. It’s a little different, but still it’s not difficult. It’s not a big difference.”
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Ventura hopes Garcia can spark a team that struggled with energy Sunday enough for the manager to speak out. Garcia has impacted the team even with limited opportunities. His four stolen bases are second on the team.
“He can make stuff happen,” Ventura said. “Hopefully that’s part of having him up there. Hopefully he can get something going and steal some bases and create situations other guys can’t.”
Cleto to Charlotte
The White Sox outrighted reliever Maikel Cleto to Triple-A Charlotte on Monday. Cleto, who had a 5.14 ERA in 13 games, was designated for assignment on Saturday, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Charlotte. The franchise also released infielder Alex Liddi and relief pitcher David Purcey.
The White Sox were on board their charter plane for more than seven hours on Sunday, including roughly two hours as they waited for severe weather. The team arrived in San Francisco shortly after midnight (PST).
“That’s just part of playing,” Ventura said. “Everybody knows you’re traveling. Yesterday, it just took us a long time to come out here. It’s a new day. You deal with it when you come out here and you get a better feeling when you get out there and start running around.”