CHICAGO -- A 1-for-12 showing, along with five strikeouts, would not exactly be the blueprint drawn up by Alejandro De Aza to start the 2013 season. But fellow outfielder Alex Rios has cautioned the White Sox leadoff man not to put too much stock in that early batting average.
"Actually, we just talked about that the other day," Rios said. "I told him that people worry about the first couple games of the season and he shouldn't worry. It's so early that it really doesn't even matter. But he's going to hit and he's a great hitter. Having him in the leadoff spot, it's going to make the team so much better.
"The difference changes so quick in batting average this early. There are so few at-bats that you get. But if he gets two or three hits tonight, his batting average will be way up there. He shouldn't be worried. He knows what he can do and we know what he can do. So he should be fine."
Manager Robin Ventura mentioned that De Aza has featured a good approach at the plate, but just hasn't got the hits to fall in.
"You have to be tough enough mentally to stay with it," Ventura said.
And according to Rios, who had five singles in his first 11 at-bats, a quick start's most important characteristic is the confidence boost it provides.
"If you feel like you are doing things right and your swing is where you want it to be, that's all that matters," Rios said. "When they start falling and you have that confidence, you mix it together and it's all good. Right now, I feel very good. I feel like I am where I need to be."
De Aza went 2-for-5 and launched a two-run homer in the fifth inning Friday night and Rios followed with solo shot.
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.