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

Let the games begin

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ozzie-guillen.jpgGLENDALE, Ariz. - All the signs have been put in, the drills have been done and the meetings of what's expected for the 2010 season have been held.
As far as manager Ozzie Guillen was concerned on Wednesday, now it's time to see how this will play out with the start of Cactus League play Thursday afternoon.
"Even the players, when you do every routine day in and day out, it's kind of ... hopefully when the games start, [Thursday] the season starts for us,'' Guillen said. "I mean spring training for some people is to get ready, for some people to make ballclubs, but to me it's how to prepare the ballclub to play our way, to play the way we want to play.''
It also means that Guillen will begin to show the versatility his DH-by-committee plan really gives him. With Alex Rios nursing a sore throwing shoulder, Guillen will sit him out of the opener and then start Rios as the DH for a few games, while Andruw Jones plays in the outfield.
When Rios is ready it will be Jones and Mark Kotsay working out of the DH spot until Paul Konerko or Carlos Quentin need a day off from the field. The days of making sure he gets Jim Thome or a Frank Thomas as many starts as possible in the DH spot to get their at-bats are over.
"We'll see if those guys swing the bat better, then they stay in the lineup,'' Guillen said. "If Andruw's swinging the bat good against lefties, I'm not going to bench him because he's a righty. It's the same way with Kotsay. That position's going to be whoever swings the bat the best or whoever needs a day off.''
But what if the DH-by-committee doesn't look to be working in the spring, would general manager Ken Williams - no big fan of it - step in with a trade?
"That's Kenny's job,'' Guillen said. "But I think when the guy struggles as designated hitter, I have more people to cover that role. I can bench the guy for a little while, then continue to play everybody else. It's easier. We didn't start yet. I'm very excited with this ballclub. I think everything is going to work out pretty good.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on March 3, 2010 3:52 PM.

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