ARLINGTON, Texas — Adam Eaton isn’t afraid of a challenge — as he showed on Saturday night — and he isn’t the easiest guy to keep out of the lineup.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura has discovered the latter in less than a month and will hold Eaton out of the lineup for several days for his own good. Ventura said it was evident Saturday watching Eaton, who has a mild lower left hamstring strain, that the outfielder was trying to play through an injury and that he needs several days off to ensure long-term health.
“Just the way he plays and his attitude going hard all the time,” Ventura said. “So even the other night, just being cautious about the way he was feeling, watching him, probably have to keep your eye on him, mannerisms, things like that to get any honesty out of him.”
Eaton was pretty honest about his near-collision with Prince Fielder at first base — he thinks he didn’t back down. The two also had a near-miss in spring training, but this time Eaton jokes he got the better of Fielder, who he describes as “fun loving.”
“I held my own all right,” Eaton said. “It’s not our first run-in. In spring training, we had a run-in together. He’s fun with it. We have a good relationship every time we get over there. He’s fun loving. He was holding his ground so I figure I would hold mine. … He was moving his feet so I felt like I did justice right there for all of us small guys. I held my own all right.”
Beckham continues to improve
Gordon Beckham’s realistic return date sounds more like Friday when the White Sox return home.
Beckham feels good, Ventura said, but his bat could use more work before he comes off the 15-day disabled list. Beckham had a two-run double in his sixth game over five days. He’s 4-for-26 (.154) with four RBIs entering Sunday as he has played consistently for the first time since suffering the injury on March 14.
“He’s feeling fine, it’s getting better and defensively he’s feeling pretty good,” Ventura said. “Offensively, whether the swing is there or not, just physically he feels pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent. … He feels good enough to play and everything but I don’t think he feels just great. When he feels that way, you get him up here.”
— Alex Rios spent Sunday morning greeting his former teammates as they took batting practice. Perhaps he was apologizing for the rude welcome he has provided with six hits in nine at-bats against his old team. Rios had three runs and three RBIs in the first two games of the series.
But he relishes the time he had with the White Sox.
“I had very special moments,” Rios said. “The guys are unbelievable. Like I said, I had a great time and it’s a town that I love. But sometimes you have to move on and see new things and I’m glad I’m here.”
— Minor-leaguer Micah Johnson went 2-for-2 with three walks and an RBI to raise his average to .377 at Double-A Birmingham. Also off to a hot start, Trayce Thompson (.322/.420/.441) walked three times and scored a run.