The Chicago White Sox are going to have some unexpected flexibility at the designated hitter spot for the next week. Paul Konerko winding up on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion comes in a tight race for the AL Central crown, but it brings up some interesting possibilities.
The White Sox have used three players at DH in the three games that Adam Dunn has been used at first base. Though I hope we have seen the last of Orlando Hudson being used in this way, skipper Robin Ventura now has a full roster and several options at his disposal.
Here are a few ways Ventura could be filling out the lineup card at DH while Konerko is out.
Having slid from second to fourth in the batting order, Youkilis could give way to Ray Olmedo on occasion to rest those nagging injuries associated with the late-summer grind.
Youk has little experience at the position, but we aren't talking about an extended run at DH.
A game or two just swinging the bat might let him recharge for the stretch run.
Pierzynski at DH would be a great solution to those day games after night games, when the White Sox like to rest him.
He gets a break from behind the plate, and Chicago still has his potent bat in the game.
That bat is more vital than ever with Konerko missing from the lineup.
Despite committing his first error of the season Saturday night, Tyler Flowers has handled the position adequately and might benefit from some steadier work behind the plate. That can only help the White Sox in the last six weeks of the season.
The recall of DeWayne Wise, who signed a minor league deal with the White Sox a week ago, provides a pinch-running option as well as a left-handed bat who has hit .300 as a pinch hitter in his major league career.
He also was hitting .262 for the Yankees and has seen a steady diet of American League pitching this season.
Viciedo could DH multiple games with Wise or Jordan Danks playing left.
In fact, all three outfielders could be spelled by Wise or Danks. With Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza recently dealing with back stiffness, a night as DH couldn't hurt their overall health.
Of course, Dunn could return to his DH role.
It's as simple as sliding Youkilis over to first and using Olmedo at the hot corner.
I have no doubt that Dunn can effectively fill in for Konerko for as long as the captain might be out.
Hopefully that won't be long, but Dunn has been a full-time first baseman in the majors and can certainly get the job done in a situation like the White Sox are facing.
Ventura has rotated his DH choices since Konerko left the lineup. It would come as no surprise if he continued to do so with the plethora of options he currently has.