De Aza's production a welcome sight

De Aza's production a welcome sight

SEATTLE -- Alejandro De Aza hasn't played in more than 54 games during a single Major League season. But 14 contests into the 2012 campaign, the center fielder has shown he's ready to be a bona fide top of the order batter.

De Aza, who is batting .268 with 13 runs, three home runs and seven RBIs from the leadoff spot, received his first off day on Sunday from White Sox manager Robin Ventura. Ventura said De Aza wasn't "feeling that good" Saturday, but didn't want to scratch him from the lineup too close to game time.

The first-year White Sox manager emphasized it was just a routine day off, and that he's been very pleased with what De Aza's been giving him from the leadoff spot.

"Not only getting on, but he works counts, does everything you want your leadoff hitter to do," Ventura said. "I'm very happy with what he's done.

"I think to start to the game he's kind of like your regular leadoff hitter, where he's working counts and doing things, but once it turns over, he's just another hitter. It's not like he's a gimmick at the top, he's a quality hitter."