Robin Ventura didn’t make any declarations against sabermetrics on Thursday morning. He hasn’t issued any challenges or hurled any insults.
But when informed sabermatricians called into question his decision on Wednesday to surrender an out when he asked Alejandro De Aza to bunt with two on and no outs, Ventura defended his decision.
De Aza’s seventh-inning sacrifice bunt moved Tyler Flowers and Gordon Beckham into scoring position for Jeff Keppinger, a contact hitter with a low career strikeout rate. Ventura’s thought was Keppinger would at the very least put the ball in play to the right side or the outfield -- he flew out to deep right-center field -- and drive in a run. But Ventura's plan was wiped out when Flowers was thrown out at home trying to advance on a pitch that got away from Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez.
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“Well, they're not sitting in my seat, either,” Ventura said. “There's a lot of those guys out there, but they're not sitting in this seat and they're not sitting in this dugout so it's a different feel when you're a player or a manager than it is just to sit there and write numbers down on a piece of paper.”
Not champions yet
Although they’re off to a 2-0 start, Adam Dunn doesn’t think it’s time for the White Sox to be handed the pennant.
The designated hitter/first baseman is pleased with how the team has played this week. But in sticking with Ventura’s theme of not getting too far ahead of themselves and focusing on what’s right in front, Dunn refuses to put too much weight on two of 162 games.
“It’s two games, good or bad,” Dunn said. “I don’t care how good we’ve played, you can’t put too much stock into it until you get a real good sample. I don’t know how else to put it. I’m happy to be 2-0, but it’s a long way to go. You know, I think once you get around, for me 50-game mark, I think that’s like you pretty much know what you got. That’s a month and a half and that’s kind of where I set it at.”
-- With home runs in his first two games, Flowers has alleviated some of the pressure he will face as A.J. Pierzynski’s successor. Flowers is 3-for-6 thus far and pitchers have a 0.50 ERA with him behind the plate.
“It's good for him,” Ventura said. “I think it's a little weight lifted off his shoulders and just play and not have the expectation cloud hanging over him.”
-- Ventura said he wouldn’t hold back closer Addison Reed from appearing in a third straight game on Thursday.
-- The club has agreed to terms on minor-league deals with right-handed pitcher Jason Berken and infielder Tyler Greene. Outfielder Stefan Gartrell, who was in big league camp this spring, was released.