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

Guillen waiting on Flowers to bloom

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GLENDALE, Ariz. - Almost everybody in the White Sox organization celebrated the re-signing of catcher A.J Pierzynski during the off-season. There were no fist-pumps from Tyler Flowers, though, whose chances of making the team took a major hit when the Sox' veteran was signed for two more years.
Flowers has been viewed as the likely successor to Pierzynski for some time, but his progress has been lacking, particularly at the plate. He batted .220 with 121 strikeouts in 100 games at AAA Charlotte in 2010, heightening the Sox' need to retain Pierzynski in their "all-in" attempt to contend for the AL Central title.
"If we go with the kids there you go,'' Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said."But our boss wanted to give us a shot to win and they thought AJ was the best guy and they signed AJ.''
As for Flowers, "I'm waiting for him,'' Guillen said. "I don't care what Tyler says. Or what Tyler thinks. We're waiting for him. When we brought him here, we thought he would be the catcher for this year. We don't think he was ready. I don't think he showed too much to say 'We're going to carry this guy.' ''
"If we go a different direction, that's a different thing. That's my opinion.''
Flowers has worked on changing his stride and a few other minor alterations.
"Just get better,'' Flowers said. "Everything else is out of my control. It's a matter of consistency.
"Obviously they brought A.J. back, with a veteran pitching staff...you can't blame them for bringing A.J. back.''
Ramon Castro looks entrenched at No. 2 on the depth chart. But Flowers, who came to the Sox from the Braves in the Javier Vazquez trade, came to camp to make a good showing.
"We're still waiting for him,'' Guillen said. "I'd like to see more out of him this year, I do. I don't think there is any reason why this kid isn't here right now.
"He played pretty good for us while he was here ... He's on the map. He's a guy we're counting on but in the meanwhile he needs playing time. He needs to play a little more to show what kind of player he is. Like I say, we're all still waiting for him to have great years and come back and help us to win games.''

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on February 20, 2011 7:10 AM.

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