TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Chicago center fielder Brian Anderson needs to finish strong in spring training to keep his starting spot, and going 1-for-4 in Seattle's 11-6 victory over the White Sox on Thursday didn't help.
Anderson, who started 134 games last year as a rookie, is behind Darin Erstad right now, and possibly headed to Triple-A Charlotte."If the season started today my center fielder is Erstad," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It's a good thing the season doesn't start today. Hopefully B.A. steps it up."Anderson came into the spring knowing he needed to prove last year's .225 batting average was a fluke, but he still has some convincing to do."I am going to go out there and go about my business. When it comes time, they can make the decisions then. Spring is not over," Anderson said. "I just want to keep doing what I am doing, keep staying aggressive and hitting good pitches. I am seeing the ball really well. I don't want to change anything."Anderson is hitting .297 so far this spring, with two doubles, two homers and five RBI. Erstad, who signed as a free agent in January, is hitting .293 after going 1-for-4 against the Mariners."I want to finish strong. I feel good. If we can break spring right now I would be pretty optimistic about the season," Anderson said.Jim Thome isn't having any problems at the plate. The White Sox slugger hit his fourth homer of the spring, a two-run drive off Horacio Ramirez in the first inning.Ramirez was credited with 1-3 of an inning after a 47-minute rain delay began with one out in the first. By the time the game started again, he had thrown 70-plus pitches in the bullpen."I would not say it is a lost day," Ramirez said. "I got some good work in. I accomplished some things."Ramirez, 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA this spring, has one more start with the Mariners (9-15) before the regular season opens."I want to get out of there healthy and brush up on everything, all my pitches, getting after it again and get good work and get more arm strength," Ramirez said.Chicago starter Jose Contreras went only one inning, allowing one run and two hits.Seattle's Willie Bloomquist went 4-for-5, scored three runs and drove in two.
White Sox closer Bobby Jenks is schedule to throw three innings in a minor league game Saturday to work out problems in his mechanics after struggling throughout the spring. Jenks, who had 41 saves for Chicago last year, has a 10.50 ERA after allowing seven runs, eight hits and seven walks in six innings. "I want to stretch him out a little bit," Guillen said.