The Sox square off against their Camelback Ranch-mates, the Los Angeles Dodgers, tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. (MDT) in a spring exhibition game (doesn’t count toward Cactus League standings). Ozzie Guillen announced his lineup Sunday, having said last week that this lineup would be a good indication of what he wants his lineup to look like April 1.
UPDATE: The lineup was actually changed later Sunday afternoon. I wonder if this is Ozzie’s way of getting back at the people who asked him where Dunn would be hitting nonstop for the last week and a half. I think I like the first version of the lineup better. This may get Beckham better pitches, but Rios will suffer if Quentin doesn’t provide adequate protection. Konerko would do better with less protection because of the type of hitter he is. Rios had a lot of success last year hitting in front of Konerko.
1 – Juan Pierre – LF
2 – Gordon Beckham – 2b
3 – Alex Rios – CF Adam Dunn – DH
4 – Adam Dunn – DH Paul Konerko – 1b
5 – Paul Konerko – 1b Alex Rios – CF
6 – Carlos Quentin – RF
7 – A.J. Pierzynski – C
8 – Alexei Ramirez – SS
9 – Brent Morel – 3b
Does this mean Morel has won the starting job? Not necessarily, especially since Mark Teahen has been gone a couple days (he returned this morning, by the way), but it definitely means Morel is in the driver’s seat.
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again…I think Alexei should be hitting in the No. 2 spot, but Ozzie made a great point today in his meeting with reporters. You don’t want to take the bat out of Ramirez’s hands. Beckham is a better option to lay down a bunt to move Pierre into scoring position. Ramirez is great with runners in scoring position, so you want him around to drive in runs. Granted, he’s hitting eighth, but that’s still going to give him plenty of RBI opportunities in this lineup.
Gavin Floyd is starting tomorrow, but he will not be the Opening Day starter. Presumed Opening Day starter Mark Buehrle will make his spring debut on Tuesday. Jake Peavy will take the hill on March 4.