CHICAGO -- Just because you only have one steal in your last nine attempts doesn’t mean the green light gets taken away.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said that Chicago White Sox leadoff man Juan Pierre is still free to run despite his base-stealing slump. So he ran on Tuesday against the Twins and swiped second base in the fourth inning.
“I'm not going to take something away from the players,” Guillen said. “We need him to steal bases, we need him to run.”
Guillen’s fear is that the White Sox sit back and become a one-dimensional offense that waits for the home run. He intends to keep things diversified.
There aren’t too many running options outside of Pierre, though. The veteran is known for his extreme work ethic and is dedicated to his workouts. But perhaps at age 33 it is the workouts themselves that are taking a toll.
“I can't change Juan,” Guillen said when asked if Pierre’s workouts might be the problem. “Juan is a veteran player and he knows what he's doing. His legs don't respond the way he wants right now, maybe with this weather he's kind of stiff a little bit. We'll wait to see later on to see how he's doing. He's a smart player and he knows what he has to do to get better.”
Pierre was successful on his first four steal attempts of the season, but is 6-for-14 now.