Lillibridge's quest for full-time role continues

Lillibridge's quest for full-time role continues

CHICAGO -- Brent Lillibridge isn't considered a starter going into the 2012 season, but he's the sort of valuable player any contending team needs to have. Although he's considered the best defensive outfielder on the team, the versatile super-sub reiterated his end-of-season comments to MLB.com concerning getting back to the infield during SoxFest.

But the 28-year-old veteran doesn't want his role to increase at the expense of starting middle infielders Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham.

"I respect Alexei and I respect Gordon. He's come amazingly far as a second baseman," said Lillibridge, who listed Beckham as the American League's best defensive second baseman. "But I've never wished anything but him having success.

"If I do well, it doesn't matter. If he does well, it won't hurt my chances. I'll play one way or the other."

Lillibridge competed for the starting second-base job coming out of Spring Training in 2009, but lost out to Chris Getz. He played 31 games on the infield during that season and 32 in 2010, but only played six games there last year if his 2011 first-base stint is not counted.

Adding the infield glove into the mix, especially with Omar Vizquel gone, simply makes Lillibridge more valuable to the team and moves him toward his ultimate full-time goal.

"I've said it before that, at one point, I do want to get a chance to be an everyday starter," Lillibridge said. "I finally made a little bit of a quake offensively or whatever you want to say.

"The defense has always been there. Personally, I perform at a high level and play sporadically and still contribute and do damage offensively."