Flowers looks to grow in limited catching role

Flowers looks to grow in limited catching role

KANSAS CITY -- Tyler Flowers looked at his statistical line from 2012 heading into Saturday's start at Kauffman Stadium, and the 26-year-old saw a .163 average with just two homers, two RBIs and 29 strikeouts. His 0-for-3 showing during the 6-3 loss actually dropped his average to .156.

Flowers also finds just 64 at-bats as the backup to A.J. Pierzynski, one of the steadiest and most productive catchers in all of baseball, and knows that this limited showing doesn't predict his chance for future success with the bat on a more full-time basis.

"I don't see how it possibly could. And if it does, that's a pretty unfair statement based off of [64] at-bats," Flowers said. "I obviously want to play more, but at the same time, it's a good team and there's a good catcher in front of me who is swinging the bat really well and he's catching well. I accept my role of playing once per week or whatever.

"They know it kind of goes hand and hand where playing once a week, I won't be able to hit .300 or even .250. I feel like I should be doing better than what I'm doing. But at the same time, you can't replace live at-bats and timing."

Flowers continues tinkering with his approach, trying to give him the best chance for success in the few opportunities he has. He believes the offensive woes aren't a matter of a timing problem, but more about "missing the ball."

"Everyone goes through it. I just need to get out of it quickly," said Flowers, who is 2-for-29 with 16 strikeouts in his last 14 games. "I'm working on that trend of flattening out my swing more, so to speak, to try to promote a little more contact. When I put the ball in play, I have pretty good numbers. When you don't, you don't have a chance for those good numbers."

The White Sox have told Flowers they are happy with how he has handled his role, according to the backup backstop, focusing on the pitchers and calling the game. Flowers also revels in being part of such a close-knit team and enjoys a strong working bond with Pierzynski.

As for Flowers possibly taking over in 2013 and beyond for Pierzynski, whose two-year extension ends after the 2012 campaign, that topic remains open-ended. It's hard to imagine not bringing back a franchise staple such as Pierzynski, especially with his 16 homers and 50 RBIs in 2012, but Flowers won't spend time trying to figure out the future.

"If you know, you can tell me. I mean, I have no idea," said Flowers of his future role. "A.J. has been a big part of this franchise for a while and he's having a great year. So I really have no idea what the future holds. I'm happy to be up here and part of this team.

"It's a real special group of guys. We have a good time every day and that's what makes it fun to be a backup catcher, even though I don't play as much as I want."