White Sox actively seeking left-handed bat
(MCT) — On the day right-handed-hitting Jeff Keppinger officially joined the White Sox, general manager Rick Hahn said Monday he continues to look for a left-handed bat.
"We're actively talking to other clubs and a couple of free agents," Hahn said Monday on a conference call. "Signing Jeff takes a little bit of pressure off of the infield hole now, but it doesn't mean we won't take a look at (other areas) on roster."
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski is a left-handed bat, but Hahn had no updates in what he said were ongoing negotiations with his free agent, although he did say "we're in regular contact" with his representatives.
But all signs continue to point to Pierzynski playing elsewhere in 2013.
Hahn said Keppinger was signed to give manager Robin Ventura versatility in the infield as the Sox continue to look for a left-handed bat for the lineup.
"If the season started today, I expect he would be the opening-day third baseman, but there's a significant amount of offseason to go," Hahn said.
Keppinger passed his White Sox physical, even though he remains in a walking boot for a broken right fibula suffered during an offseason fall at home. He expects the boot to be removed soon and to be ready for spring training.
"It wasn't a fun time for me," he said of the accident suffered before he signed for $12 million over three years. "I had flip-flops on and I was going downstairs and slipped. I just didn't land right.
"It was pretty nerve-wracking when I got the X-rays and they told me it was a fracture."
The 32-year-old former Ray led the American League with a .376 batting average against left-handers and was the most difficult player in the league to strike out.
He presumably will bat second if the roster stands as is.
"I like the (No.) 2 hole, I hit a lot there in Houston and San Francisco," he said. "Last year with the Rays, I bounced around. It really doesn't matter where I hit in the lineup, (but) I like the challenges of hitting in No. 2 hole. It's kind of tough to do those little things, but I pride myself on getting them done."