Considering they were White Sox teammates from 2005-12, A.J. Pierzynski knows Paul Konerko as well as anyone in baseball.
Now playing for the Red Sox, Pierzynski said it was odd not seeing Konerko's name in the White Sox' starting lineup Tuesday night.
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"It's strange for me to see Paul not play every day," Pierzynski said. "That's the Paul I know and the Paul I played with, and that's the Paul I think most people remember. But to look up and not see him in the lineup, look at the lineup today and no Konerko, it's still odd to me.
"Normally, right now he would have 30 or 40 at-bats and a couple of homers and a bunch of RBI and no stolen bases. Paul knew what he was getting himself into coming in. We talked this off-season a bunch of times about what he should do and I told him absolutely he should come back. He deserves to come back, not only for himself, but to enjoy one year. If they aren't going to give him the opportunity to play, then heck, he can enjoy it a little bit more. It's a lot more relaxing if he knows he's not playing every day."
Why has Konerko been limited to just one start through the White Sox' first 14 games? Look at the opposing left-handed starters.
The right-handed hitting Konerko figures to start at designated hitter or first base against most lefties, but the Sox have only seen two so far.
Konerko's lone start came on April 5, against Bruce Chen at Kansas City. The Sox also drew lefty Franklin Morales on April 8, but the game was at Colorado where the was no DH.
Looking ahead, Konerko should be in the starting lineup Thursday against left-hander Jon Lester and Boston and Friday against Martin Perez and the Texas Rangers.
Alexei Ramirez was 1-for-3 with a walk Tuesday night, extending his hitting streak to 14 games to start the season. That is one games shy of Frank Thomas' franchise record.
Ramirez is off to a tremendous start, and he entered the game leading the American League with a .420 batting average, 1.143 OPS and 21 hits. He was third with 12 RBI and also has 3 homers, including Sunday's 2-run winning shot in the bottom of the ninth against the Indians.
Still impatient and aggressive at the plate, Ramirez has nonetheless been responding well to new hitting coach Todd Steverson.
"There's nothing specific," Ramirez said. "(Steverson's) given me some advice, keep staying back on the ball a little bit, but I have my routine that I have with Harold (Baines) that I've had since last year. Harold and I go in the cage and we work on some things, but Steverson has given me some advice, the main one being staying back a little bit, waiting on the ball."
Around the horn:
According to the White Sox, right fielder Avisail Garcia had successful surgery Tuesday morning to repair a torn labrum and avulsion fracture in his left shoulder. He is scheduled to stay in Chicago for six months of rehabilitation and have no restrictions for 2015 spring training ... There was a pregame video tribute and the White Sox wore "Boston Strong" T-shirts to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings ... All players wore No. 42 Tuesday night in celebration of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier 67 years ago ... A.J. Pierzynski is wearing No. 40 for the Red Sox, in honor of White Sox broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, a close friend. Harrelson wore No. 40 when he played for Boston from 1967-69 ... Because of cold and icy conditions, the upper deck at U.S. Cellular Field was closed Tuesday night.