White Sox notes: Lawrie, Garcia, Jackson
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OAKLAND, Calif. – Brett Lawrie has been bouncing around the White Sox dugout like it’s the postseason, but you’ll have to excuse him if you think it’s a little much.
“These games have been tight games. Duty calls,’’ Lawrie said Wednesday.
Jimmy Rollins’ homer in the ninth inning Tuesday ignited the dugout, as you might expect after the bullpen gave up a two-run lead in the eighth. Lawrie would be wound tight washing his car, so his display of exuberance in that moment shouldn’t come as a surprise. He says it’s not an act.
“I’m just excited right now, and that’s how I am,’’ Lawrie said. “I just try to be me and only be me. That’s going to be perceived the way it is, and hopefully it’s in a good way.’’
However it’s perceived, it’s not going to end if the Sox keep winning close games. Their first two wins were by one run.
“The baseball will allow that to happen,’’ Lawrie said. “You get in tight games and games that mean a lot, we’re in the beginning of the year here and everybody wants to get out of the gate. There’s going to be a lot of energy.’’
Whenever Lawrie is around, that is for sure.
Day game of rest for Rollins
Ventura went with the same lineup Wednesday that won the first two games, but he said Tyler Saladino will play shortstop in the series finale, an afternoon game, to give Jimmy Rollins a day off.
“It’s not a set program for him but we’ll be able to tell how he’s doing and having discussion with him on how he’s doing physically,’’ Ventura said of Rollins, 37. “There will be some days where I [give him the day off] and there will be some days he probably does it.’’
Avi in the outfield
Ventura said Avisail Garcia, who played most of 2015 in right field but was the designated hitter in the first three games of 2016, will play right field Thursday. The Sox have fielded a stronger defense with Austin Jackson in center and Adam Eaton moving to right.
“[Garcia] needs to work on it,’’ Ventura said. “That’s no secret. But he has the ability to do it.’’
Ventura said Garcia covers more ground than meets the eye because of his long strides but “he’s got some work to do’’ and should be motivated to do so because “we have guys who can play it.’’
Man in the middle
Jackson plays a bit shallower in center than Eaton does, which is where Ventura wants to see it played.
“He can cover some ground,’’ Ventura said.
“He’s been able to come in and get to some shallow line drives. Really, if somebody is going to hit it over his head, then it was probably a bad pitch.’’
The home opener Friday (3:05 p.m.) against the Cleveland Indians is a sellout.
*Probables for the weekend series: Friday, Cody Anderson vs. John Danks; Saturday, Josh Tomlin vs. Sale; Sunday, Corey Kluber vs. Jose Quintana.
Probables for home-opening series vs. Tribe: Friday, Cody Anderson vs. John Danks; Saturday, Josh Tomlin vs. Chris Sale; Sunday, Corey Kluber vs. Jose Quintana.