Ozzie ponders other leadoff options

Ozzie ponders other leadoff options

ARLINGTON -- In looking for a way to take pressure off of the struggling Juan Pierre, manager Ozzie Guillen thought about dropping Pierre in the order. But the White Sox manager quickly realized there was no real option to replace Pierre on a regular basis.

That thought process apparently changed following Pierre's 0-for-5 showing in Thursday's victory.

"He ain't playing tomorrow," said Guillen, who will sit the left-handed hitter with veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte starting the opener in New York. "And then we'll try and figure out the next day.

"We have a couple of righties [pitching Saturday and Sunday], move him down to the No. 9 spot to make him relax a little bit. I don't know if he's putting a lot of pressure on himself or trying to do too much, but I'll try and give him a breather, [maybe] bat him second, I don't know. Try and figure out who my leadoff hitter will be. Maybe it will let him relax a little bit."

Omar Vizquel stands as one possible leadoff replacement, but Guillen knows Vizquel is not an everyday player at 43. Mark Teahen was another candidate mentioned by Guillen, with the third baseman's .379 on-base percentage sitting third behind Jones and Paul Konerko.

Gordon Beckham was a leadoff option discussed during the offseason, before the acquisition of Pierre. But Guillen doesn't want to put Beckham in that position.

"Maybe against lefties, you might see him. But I don't think he's the typical guy to do it," Guillen said. "I want to put him [lower] in the lineup to get some RBIs, but right now, whoever is in the bottom struggles, too."