CLEVELAND – In major need of a boost to the lineup, the White Sox can start by looking within, which is why Mark Teahen figures to get more at-bats in the coming weeks. The left-handed hitter started at third base against the Indians on Friday night, his fifth start in the seven games since the All-Star break.
“I think I can definitely help offensively, and we haven’t had the offensive team we thought we would be coming out of spring, so hopefully having me in there, another lefty, sparks it a little bit,” Teahen said before the Sox defeated the Indians at Progressive Field on Friday night.
Rookie Brent Morel was given the job in spring training and has been good defensively while batting .242. Teahen has been better defensively than he was last season, and with Adam Dunn struggling, having another left-handed, run-producing bat would help.
“Sometimes you take some steps back to take some steps forward,” Teahen said of his defense. “Last year I went through a tough stretch and then getting hurt I didn’t come back completely healthy. It’s nice to be in there and feel comfortable.”
Teahen is in the second year of a three-year, $14 million deal that hasn’t measured up to his playing time or production, which Teahen is well aware.
“Sure, yes,” he said. “Obviously the money is nice but it doesn’t matter if you’re playing Little League or playing here with a big contract, you want to play. The whole point of preparing all off-season and working hard every day and ultimately get on the field is to play well and help the team win. It is aggravating when you don’t get that chance but hopefully more of those are coming.”
Teahen went into the Sox game at Cleveland with a .215 average, and was 12-for-68 (.176) since May 1. He expects to hit near his career average of .266 with more at-bats. He was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and fly ball to the warning track in left field.
“Yeah, for sure,” he said. “It’s tough to get in any kind of rhythm with three at-bats a week. I think the more I get in there, the better the results I’ll get.”