GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ask Alex Rios how he feels at the plate right now, and the White Sox right fielder, who is coming off of his best big league season, smiles and points out that it's a little early in Spring Training to make such a judgment. But taking part in the World Baseball Classic, with Rios leaving March 3 to train with Team Puerto Rico, will greatly enhance that preparatory process in Rios' mind.
"I believe it gets you readier than Spring Training games because you have to go almost at full throttle," Rios said. "It's a good experience. It's something that you look forward to doing. It's something different, I guess."
With Rios, Carlos Beltran, Andres Torres and Angel Pagan committed to playing for Puerto Rico, manager Edwin Rodriguez has plenty of options in terms of outfield positioning. All four can play center field, meaning Rios could end up somewhere other than his customary right-field slot.
"You know what, I have no clue," said Rios, when asked if he knew his exact spot in the Team Puerto Rico outfield. "We are going to have to see where, how the outfield evolves. I don't know if Beltran is going to play center or right. It depends on what they want to do."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.