At SoxFest last month, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he liked the idea of new designated hitter Adam Dunn batting third in his lineup, followed by Paul Konerko fourth and Alex Rios fifth.
On Saturday, Guillen flip-flopped, telling a 670-AM radio audience that a lineup with Rios third, Dunn fourth and Konerko fifth would be his best guess. Keep in mind it’s early: there are still five days left before pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Glendale, Ariz.
Guillen threw this one out there on Saturday: Juan Pierre LF, Gordon Beckham 2B, Rios CF, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, Carlos Quentin RF, A.J. Pierzynski C, Alexei Ramirez SS, Brent Morel or Mark Teahen 3B.
Moving Rios to third makes sense from the standpoint of getting more speed near the top. Having Dunn bat third gets your most dangerous hitter to the plate in the first inning, with more at-bats overall in the long run.
For Guillen, the less he tinkers with the order, the better.
“The biggest responsibility a manager has is making out the lineup,” Guillen said.
“A manager who makes a lot of different lineups is in last place. When he makes the same one day in and day out, that means he’s in the pennant race.”
Don’t be surprised if or when the projected order changes again. There are seven weeks till Opening Day in Cleveland.