DETROIT – Todd Frazier’s hit (for power) and miss (for average) season has produced 33 home runs, the most by a White Sox third baseman since current manager Robin Ventura hit 34 in 1996 and Bill Melton belted 33 in 1971.
On pace for a career high 41 homers, Frazier will likely set himself apart from those two. On a technicality, Melton hit all 33 in ’71 while playing third base. Ventura hit 32 playing third base and one each as a first baseman and pinch hitter in ’96. Frazier has 32 as a third sacker, one playing first base.
“He’s not in the lineup today,’’ Ventura joked before Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
Ventura, aware of the totals, joked with Frazier after he homered Tuesday night that his season was over.
“He said, ‘Carlos [Sanchez], get ready to go, ‘ ’’ Frazier said. “He was like, ‘Good year, Fraze, good year.’ ‘’
Frazier, in his first year with the Sox, is batting .214 with a team high 83 RBI. He’s third in the AL in homers.
“The inconsistency for him is, the average could be better,’’ Ventura said. “He’s working on that. It’s stuff that probably drives him crazy as well.’’
While Ventura downplayed the effects of a change of leagues, Frazier said there’s possibly more to it than he would allow earlier in the season.
“For me I guess it was a little tough to adjust to that and finally figure out that they’re not always going to throw me strikes with a count that’s in my favor,’’ he said. “Bottom line is you’ve got to look for your pitch and stay with it the whole time and eventually, once it comes, you can’t miss it. A lot of times this year I did miss a lot of those pitches, but it’s something to learn from and something, look at some video and figure out some things I need to work on for next year. There’s always room for change.’’
In Central Division games alone, about half of Frazier’s at-bats have resulted in strikeouts.
“I’m one of those home run hitters,’’ Frazier said. “I always have an opportunity to tie a game or go ahead with just one swing. We have a lot of guys like that on the team and I think home runs are a big part of the game.’’
The Sox’ AAA team in Charlotte is participating in the International League playoffs, so any immediate roster expansion might come from AA Birmingham.
“We’ll have a couple guys [Thursday],’’ Ventura said. “With Charlotte still kind of being in the playoff stuff, we’ll have a few guys after that.”
Melky Cabrera, who left Tuesday’s game due to dehydration, was a late scratch with continued stomach discomfort. Cabrera received intravenous fluids Tuesday night and was in Ventura’s original lineup. Cabrera missed two games last week with the same issue.
SoxFest 2017, the team’s fan convention, will be held Jan. 27-29, the Sox announced.