CHICAGO -- Catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s day off is Tyler Flowers’ gain.
While manager Robin Ventura didn’t say if there’s a set plan as to when Pierzynski gets rest, he did make it clear that it’s a move to keep his 11-year veteran fresh. The next game behind the plate will be career No. 1,500 for Pierzynski, and Ventura only sees that number steadily increasing over the course of the season.
“It’s not a platoon or anything like that,” Ventura said. “It’s more of making sure he stays fresh, and I just think he’ll be better for that. We’ll be better for that.”
Pierzynski has been the White Sox’s most productive player at the plate so far this season with a .417 batting average, a triple, two home runs, seven RBIs and two runs scored in the last three games. Ventura likes him behind Paul Konerko in the No. 5 spot of the lineup, where he’s hit in all but one game. The durable Pierzynski is also coming off his 10th straight season of 1,000 or more innings caught.
Flowers, meanwhile, was 0-for-4 in his only start of the season, a 4-3 Sox win over Texas in the second game of the season. He’s looking for any opportunity he can get.
“There’s always opportunities late in games with this kind of team where we’re not afraid to use our ‘backups’ in big game situations,” Flowers said.
--Dayan Viciedo has been moved around so often throughout his young career -- going from third base to right field and now to left field -- that Ventura said he’s not too worried about the 23-year-old adjusting at his new perch in left. Ventura said that Viciedo’s diving catch to end the seventh inning of Friday’s win was indicative of the amount of work he put in during spring training.
“It’s been a lot of work and it hasn’t been comfortable for him but he’s getting better every time he goes out there and with the defense that he played yesterday, that’s stuff that bonds a team and raises the level that that’s kind of expected,” Ventura said.