CHICAGO -- One of the challenges for a struggling hitter is to maintain focus on his defense and not carry his offensive issues to the field. White Sox manager Robin Ventura is impressed with how his players have been able to detach the two."It's hard for them to separate that," Ventura said. "For me, that's an unselfish player. You could selfishly know that you're struggling at the plate and kind of take it out on the rest of your team." As a team, the White Sox entered play Saturday having committed just 10 errors this season. Individually, Gordon Beckham backs up Ventura's statement, playing rock-solid defense at second and committing one error in 18 games despite batting .161 with no homers and two RBIs. "Even though we might have guys not swinging the bat," Ventura said, "they're ready defensively. It's not a lack of concentration on the field."
Ventura comfortable with bullpen alignment
CHICAGO -- When you're Robin Ventura, a former hitter who's never managed at any level and then get your first job in the Majors, many wonder how you'll deal with the assorted pressures associated with managing, particularly the pitching staff and the complexities of navigating a bullpen through 162 games.By no means does Ventura feel like he's got all the answers, but the rookie White Sox skipper thinks he's got a good read on his relievers and their roles. "I think it kind of goes with the game and how games are going," Ventura said, "how guys are feeling. I feel like I understand it. It's just more of getting to know your guys and who might need a day and who might not. But the game kind of dictates what happens." Just in the first month, Ventura has anointed a rookie to close, then dealt with questions about Hector Santiago's hold on that job following two blown saves over his last four outings. Then Jesse Crain goes on the disabled list on Friday, sending an early ripple through the roles in the back end of the bullpen. "You get into a situation where as soon as you get comfortable with something," Ventura said, "you have a Crain on the DL. So it changes kind of the complexity of your bullpen. That's stuff you have to deal with." Offensively, even though the White Sox have struggled to score runs during a four-game slide, Ventura has fought any urge to overreact in changing his lineup. "You kind of look at it," Ventura said, "maybe you want to tweak it and do something else. Every time you do that, I think guys look too deep into it. Sometimes it's worth doing. I kind of like where it's at right now."
Kerry Walls is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.