(CBS) In an interview with the McNeil and Spiegel Show on Monday morning at spring training in Glendale, Ariz., White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he envisions designated hitter Paul Konerko receiving around 200 plate appearances and lauded the veteran’s value around the younger players.
“There is a transition going on here,” Hahn said. “I don’t want too much of the water being carried by 22-year-old kids. Konerko is not only going to be able to take some of the weight off with certain matchups, give Abreu a day off or platoon with Dunn in a way that will hopefully keep the offensive production going while some of these younger kids have some inevitable growing pains.
“There is some benefit to having a guy who represents what you want in a player while you (teach) young guys … to have that role model around.”
Konerko has said this is his final season before retirement. He’ll platoon with Adam Dunn at designated hitter, with left-handed Dunn receiving more at-bats in regularly facing the right-handing pitching of foes.
Hahn also said the fate of third baseman Matt Davidson is yet to be determined in regards to making the Opening Day roster.
“At age 22, for me, it’s not essential that he wins the job here in spring training,” Hahn said. “We’ve seen better than what we’ve anticipated, quite frankly, from a defensive standpoint. He made some small adjustments.
“We feel pretty good about where he is defensively, so it’s fantastic if he’s ready to go. If he’s a part of this from Day 1, that’s great. If he has to go back to the minors for a little more seasoning like Joe Crede did or Aaron Rowand did, it’s not detrimental to the long-term production.”