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updated: 1/24/2010 4:10 PM

Quentin aiming to stay healthy all season

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  • Carlos Quentin

      Carlos Quentin
    Associated Press


Carlos Quentin arrived at SoxFest a day late, then wasted little time pronouncing he's feeling great.

Slowed by foot and knee injuries last season while still feeling the effects of having a pin placed in his surgically repaired right wrist, Quentin played in just 99 games and batted .236 with 21 home runs and 56 RBI.

"My body feels well," Quentin said. "The foot feels great. The knee feels good. The wrist feels 10 times better having the hardware taken out. The old injuries that were in the past feel great.''

If he comes back and stays healthy, something Quentin has been unable to accomplish since being selected in the first round of the 2003 draft by the Diamondbacks, the White Sox' questionable offense is likely to get a huge boost.

In 2008, Quentin batted .288 with 36 HRs and 100 RBI and was a leading MVP candidate before fracturing his wrist in a Sept. 1 game at Cleveland.

This winter, his training has been designed to present further injuries.

"I changed it up," Quentin said. "The training has been very preventative. It's a little different than what I've done in the past. Not to take away from what I've done in the past, but I'm happy with what I'm doing now."

With Alex Rios set in center field, newcomer Juan Pierre is taking over in left field, Quentin's old position. Quentin shifts to right field.

"I'm pretty excited about that," Quentin said. "I grew up as a right fielder and think it will come back extremely fast. I've thrown and gotten my arm ready for it."

The truth hurts: This is what GM Kenny Williams had to say about Juan Pierre playing left field: "You're not going to like the way he throws, but you're going to like the way he tracks the ball down."

Short sighted: During Saturday morning's Q&A session with fans at SoxFest, manager Ozzie Guillen was again asked about the shortstop position, specifically why he's playing Alexei Ramirez instead of Gordon Beckham.

"Alexei Ramirez is a better shortstop than Gordon Beckham," said Guillen, a standout shortstop himself during his 16-year playing career. "To me, Alexei is one of the top three shortstops in the American League."

Fenced in: With the White Sox focused on pitching and defense this season, GM Kenny Williams fielded an interesting question Saturday: Why not move the fences back at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field?

Williams reluctantly shot down the idea, saying it would cost millions to alter the field.

"I would love to put the left field fence in Row 4 and move it back all the way around," Williams said. "Unfortunately, it's not going to happen."

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