Paul Konerko fine with five hole

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Usually a demotion in the batting order will find a veteran hitter camped outside a manager’s office, ready for battle.

But for Chicago White Sox team captain Paul Konerko, being dropped from fourth to fifth in Robin Ventura's lineup is no big deal.

“Robin and I had a conversation at the beginning of spring training,” Konerko said. “He mentioned sometimes against righties I would probably go fifth, against lefties, depending on what is going on, I could pump up to fourth.”

With the addition of Jeff Keppinger to the top of the order, Ventura moved both Adam Dunn and Konerko down one slot to fourth and fifth while moving Alex Rios up from fifth to the three hole.

In typical team-first style, Konerko explained what his response was to Ventura’s proclamation.

“I told him that it really doesn’t matter,” said Konerko, who is entering the last year of a three-year contract. “I have hit fifth a lot in my career and I have batted fourth a lot. To me it is hard to tell the difference. You are going to get your four at-bats and plenty of opportunities to drive in runs.

“I think on a really competitive big league team that I am a five-hole hitter.”

Konerko is second to Frank Thomas on both the White Sox career home run list (415) and RBI (1,307) leaderboard. This season will be his 15th with the franchise.