Alexei Ramirez isn’t in the White Sox starting lineup on Wednesday for the first time all season.
Ramirez has played all but six of the team’s 1,181 1/3 innings and started in 131 of 131 games. Manager Robin Ventura indicated on Tuesday he was likely to start rookie Leury Garcia over Ramirez on Wednesday and is happy to give the veteran shortstop two days off, as the White Sox don’t play on Thursday, either.
Ventura also said he would have given Ramirez time off prior to Wednesday had the White Sox possessed a true backup shortstop on the roster.
“I would say he would have gotten one,” Ventura said. “There are times where you could see he could use a day, where he was fatigued. The way he’s playing you give him a day, and with the day off it turns into two. So he can recharge.”
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Ramirez has actually played some of his best baseball of the season in August.
Over his last 22 games, Ramirez is hitting .340 with six doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs.
Ramirez said he began to lobby Ventura early Wednesday and hopes to find his way into the game.
“I’ve made it clear,” Ramirez said through a translator. “I’ve told them I’m ready. … It’s going to be hard sitting here and wanting to be on the field. Although it’s going to be hard, the most important thing I can do is support my teammates, encourage them and just be there for them. It’ll be difficult but that’s my job when I’m not playing.”
Ramirez -- who has played in 156, 158 and 158 games the previous three seasons -- also made it clear he’d prefer to play but is OK with his manager’s decision.
“Those types of decisions are independent of the ballplayer,” Ramirez said. “My job is to be prepared to play every day, to contribute every day and help this team win every day. If the manager and people that make to decisions choose for me not to play and that helps the team, then I’m fine with that.”
Dunn credits Manto
Adam Dunn said hitting coach Jeff Manto has helped him to become a much more complete hitter. Manto is in his second season with the team. Dunn said Manto has helped him from a technical standpoint as they have tried a number of different tweaks in his swing.
Dunn has raised his average from .156 on June 7 to .233 at the start of play on Wednesday.
“I'm able to get to some balls that for most of my career I wasn't able to get to and I think that's credit to Jeff, getting me all year long in a good hitting position and all that boring stuff that no one wants to talk about,” Dunn said. “But I think all the credit goes to him.
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Not that everything is fine and dandy.
But even when they may have creative disagreements, Dunn knows the work the two have done together has helped him to improve.
“It's just having a really good routine and having a really good hitting coach that won't let me get away from what we're trying to do,” Dunn said. “Sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes I'll yell at him, and he's really quick to yell right back and say, 'We're doing it.' So it's good.”