GOODYEAR, Ariz. - The battle between Jayson Nix and Brent Lillibridge for that final reserve spot is still a dead heat.
Unfortunately, both players fall under the category of "disappointing,'' so manager Ozzie Guillen is hoping that it could only get better.
"Very, very disappointed the last three days,'' Guillen replied, when asked about the Lillibridge-Nix duel.
He was then asked if that disappointment was in both, and again pulled no punches.
"Yeah,'' he replied. "I think Nix was swinging the bat very good, he just had a bad three days.
"I think they're still playing the same game - little guys, big games. If those guys do what they're supposed to do it makes it easier on me because I think it makes it easier for one of them, or both, to do what they're supposed to do.''
Guillen was critical of both players last season, especially with the fact that he felt they focused to much on being power hitters rather than hitting the ball on the ground and using their legs.
With Nix and Lillibridge scuffling that has also opened the door for rookies Jordan Danks and C.J. Retherford. Guillen has been gushing over the younger Danks brother since the start of camp, but Retherford has played his way into Guillen's sights.
"I love him,'' Guillen said. "So far what we ask him to do in spring training he does - move the guy over, get big hits for us, he does. He's a sleeper, but he has started waking people up.''
No holding him back
Guillen said that he had a talk with struggling closer Bobby Jenks on Sunday morning, and liked what he heard from the right-hander.
"I can only go on what the trainers say and the players feel, and then we go from there,'' Guillen said. "If the players feel that they feel better, we count on that. I always say to them just be honest with yourself because I would rather prevent soreness from getting to an injury. He said everything felt fine.''
There had been concern with Jenks and his right calf in camp, as well as the fact that he allowed seven earned runs in his first two appearances.
"I think Bobby is going to step it up a notch because I don't think Bobby is the type of guy that likes to be embarrassed,'' Guillen said. "I don't think we're going to hold him back because he says he feels good.''