Chicago Sun-Times
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Concerns with Teahen and news on Jenks

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MarkTeahen0022_large.jpgMARYVALE, Ariz. - Hitting coach Greg Walker has been working on Mark Teahen's ailing swing. As far as where Teahen is mentally, well manager Ozzie Guillen said that might be a work in progress.
Teahen, who was acquired from Kansas City in the offseason and then given a three-year, $14 million extension, enters the weeks hitting .120 in Cactus League play.
The Sox have seen players come in and try to do too much, only to mentally spiral downward as the season has gone on before, with Nick Swisher and Alex Rios great examples of that. There was no Act II for Swisher, who was sent packing, but Rios looks to be a different person on and off the field this spring.
Guillen's hope is Teahen takes note of what Rios did.
"I'm going to give him every opportunity and time to get back to where he is,'' Guillen said of Teahen. "I talked to Walk [Sunday] morning about the way Rios is right now, he's laughing, smiling. Last year, Rios didn't even say high to anyone. It's a little different when you know the players.
"I talked to Teahen early in camp and said, 'Just go out and play the game. Let the 0-for-4 and the other stuff stay on the field. I'll handle that. I handle it with the media, I'll handle it with the fans. Go out there and do your stuff, have fun.' Because when you come over and hear all the expectations, how the team is going to do, it might get you and you get caught up in that stuff. Just go out and play third base. Was I concerned? I was concerned a couple of days ago because his swing was not - even in batting practice I didn't like his swing. His swing now is working a little more with Greg and I see stuff come along.''
Teahen played in a minor-league "B'' Game on Sunday, getting at-bats every inning to work through his struggles. He may also do that Monday morning.

Big man speaks

Bobby Jenks is scheduled to test the injured right calf Monday against Kansas City, and was still feeling that April 5 is doable for him to be ready.
"That's part of the other good news,'' Jenks said, "it's a few days of rest. I'll be ready for opening day. No doubt about it.''
The Sox have also been tinkering with Jenks throwing out of a full wind-up to get his mechanics cleaned up, and Jenks was optimistic with that, as well.
"It's like riding a bike,'' the closer added. "It takes a few times and just find that rhythm and balance.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on March 21, 2010 5:34 PM.

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