Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Position battle updates

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GLENDALE - With less than a month left in camp, here are how the key position battles currently stack up.

SECOND BASE

Where it stands after two-plus weeks of Cactus League play:

1. Jayson Nix {Last Wk #1) - Gets the benefit of the doubt because of an injured right quad slowing him down, but if Nix doesn't get healthy soon and start playing consistently, he will slide quickly. His .714 average in four games was impressive, however.

2. Gordon Beckham (Last Wk NA) - The talk of the camp was moved to second this week, and has put on a show. And while he has jumped to No. 2 in these rankings, the likelihood of him making a jump from a month of Single-A ball last season is still very unlikely.

3. Chris Getz (Last Wk #2) - Getz had a solid week, and is closing. After a slow start to his spring, he is swinging a solid bat and playing good defense.

4. Brent Lillibridge (Last Wk #3) - Flu-like symptoms slowed the speedy Lillibridge down, but even when he played he still strikes out too often and looks to be swinging for the fences. He's looking more and more like a utility candidate right now, but still lots of time to change some minds.

CENTER FIELD

Where it stands after two-plus weeks of Cactus League play:

1. Dewayne Wise (Last Wk #1) - Whether it's a B game or a Cactus League game, Wise remains the most consistent hitter of the three. He needs to get a few more looks in the leadoff spot to solidify his hold on the starting job, however.

2. Brian Anderson (Last Wk #2) - Considering the way Anderson finished last year, he's been a bit disappointing offensively so far this spring. His defense? Still the best in the organization.

3. Jerry Owens (Last Wk #3) - Forget the .192 Cactus League average, it's the three caught-stealing attempts that have people shaking their heads. Owens looks to be playing more not to get hurt than to win a starting job so far.

THIRD BASE

Where it stands after two-plus weeks of Cactus League play:

1. Josh Fields (Last Wk #1) - Besides some base-running brain farts, Fields has been doing everything the club could have asked from him this spring. He's fielding his position and hitting the ball. Of the three position battles, this one seems to be the most one-sided.

2. Dayan Viciedo (Last Wk #2) - Pitchers are starting to test the 19-year-old with breaking balls and off-speed stuff, and he has struggled at times. There is no question that he has raw ability with a higher ceiling than Fields on the offensive side. He did show better defense the last week, but is still a distant second to Fields for the starting job.

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3 Comments

I like this Joe, great to get an educated opinion as to where these position battles stand. I would also like to see what your thoughts are on the final spots for the bullpen and bench players too. Just a thought.

Joe, I'm worried about Linebrink? I'm hoping it's the dry Arizona weather but I can't remember how he looked at this time last year preceding that great first half he had.

Barring some unforeseen event, I will be SHOCKED if the SOX do not break camp with Beckham as the starting second baseman. The kid is ready!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on March 10, 2009 4:02 PM.

Game 9 - Another loss was the previous entry in this blog.

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