White Sox GM Hahn: ‘It seemed like this day would never come’
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the most eventful White Sox offseason in recent memory, the regular season finally arrived Monday for general manager Rick Hahn, the man most responsible.
“It seemed like this day would never come as we were going through things in October, November and December,’’ Hahn said from the Sox dugout before Monday’s opener in Kansas City. “And even once we got to Arizona it felt like we were there a little longer than usual even though it was the traditional six weeks. A lot of it has to do with the anticipation for today and the excitement, getting ready to play games that matter that we’ve been visualizing for a long time. Obviously expectations are high in the clubhouse and around the club. It’s now time to start delivering on those, which is exciting.”
The Sox didn’t look too excited during the last week of spring training, then lost to their AAA team in Charlotte by a 10-2 score in a Friday exhibition. Manager Robin Ventura addressed the “sloppiness” with his team.
“We had talked about it a little bit in Charlotte and knew that was coming and understandably so,’’ Hahn said. “We do have a fair amount of veterans here who know what they need to do to prepare for the regular season. My only concerns going through spring were health related as opposed to anything to performance. Robin and the coaches wanted to tighten up a few things and addressed it appropriately.’’
With Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn off the roster, Ventura has a group of 25 that allows him considerably more flexibility, something he plans to utilize with outfielder J.B. Shuck, infielder Gordon Beckham, super utility Emilio Bonifacio and – at least for now – infielder Carlos Sanchez.
“We have different guys you can move around,’’ Ventura said Monday. “I don’t think we’re quite as locked in as we’ve been in the past being able to put guys in different spots. I see us kind of moving things around, not really set on a same lineup every single day. It’ll look fairly similar but there will be days where guys get days off and you can throw a Shuck or either Sanchez in the two-hole and move some guys around and give a guy a blow.’’
Gillaspie’s feet OK; says he’ll roll with flow
After Tuesday’s off day, the Sox are scheduled to face lefty Danny Duffy Wednesday, which means Gordon Beckham could start at third base for left-handed hitting Conor Gillaspie
“I don’t make any of those decisions but whoever has the best chance that day is going to play,’’ said Gillaspie who hit .221 against lefties (.300 vs. right-handers) last season. “And whether I hit seventh, third, eighth it doesn’t matter as long as I can contribute. At the end of the day, I have to let the chips fall where they may and I have to be OK with it.’’
Gillaspie was bothered by plantar fasciitis during spring training, but he says it’s not a big deal now.
“It’s doing a lot better,’’ he said. “I can honestly say it limited me a little in the spring but I don’t think it’s a big issue right now. It’s definitely not something that’s hindering me – maybe a little bit running — but as far as playing every day.’’
Gillaspie batted third on Opening Day last season.