DETROIT -- One of the White Sox' biggest who'd-a-thunk-it stats is Alexei Ramirez's 62 RBI, only because he had two more than cleanup man Paul Konerko going into Friday's game against the Detroit Tigers. Ramirez has been steady with 77, 68, 70 and 70 RBI in his four seasons on the South Side.
Hitting coach Jeff Manto said Ramirez is becoming a better hitter, though.
"Lately he doesn't give bats away,'' Manto said. "He'll take a swing that's out of sorts and next thing he has a double. He's shrunk down his swing a whole bunch. He's not swinging for a home run. He's accepting the single.''
After hitting 21, 15, 18 and 15 homers, Ramirez has eight with a month left.
"That's OK,'' Manto said. "His home runs are down, his RBI are up. He's learning how to hit without the power, which is good. Taking the ball the other way, pulling when you have something to pull and knowing how to hit in the count. Early in the season he was just trying to hit home runs. Now that he's shut his swing down and moving the ball over the field, he knows he doesn't have to drive the ball. We have guys that do that.''
Manto said it takes a "knack" and "a special person" to drive in runs. His only explanation for Konerko having 60 is Adam Dunn, who had 38 home runs and 88 RBI batting in front of him.
"Dunner is driving in so many runs that Paulie is coming up with nobody on,'' Manto said.