By Jim Owczarski
Frustrated by a lack of production by several high-priced players last season -- and by a perceived lack of attention by the manager in not benching those players - a White Sox fan asked new manager Robin Ventura during a question and answer session Saturday afternoon at SoxFest how, and when, he would sit a player down.
Ventura lightened the mood with a bit of humor to start his answer, saying you simply invite the player over to the bench. He then related how he had been benched at various points in his 16-year career.
Every time I got sat down a manager very directly and honestly with me explained it to me, Ventura told the fan. Its my belief that Im not going to treat everybody the same, but Im going to treat everybody fairly. Paul Konerko is going to be treated differently than rookie who was just called up. Thats the way it is and thats way Im going to operate.
But I am going to be honest if a guy needs to get a few days off, or if he needs the whole season off, hell get the whole season off.
Ventura chuckled as he made that last statement, but it drew a heavy applause.
During a media session on Friday, Ventura said he and his entire staff will meet and decide whats best for the player and the team, should that situation arise.
As a staff, if we feel like its time to make a change, maybe give a guy a breather were different, Ventura said. We have a few different people in here making those decisions so its going to be different. I havent been to spring training yet, so I cant sit here and say Im going to give them 10 at bats and if hes not hitting .900 hes out. Its an unfair thing to do to a player.
The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.
Collins, the 22-year-old catcher, has been projected as the White Sox catcher of the future since he was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
A Florida native and University of Miami product, Collins initially was celebrated for his batting prowess and faced questions about his defensive abilities, only to improve with the glove in 2017 while he watched some offensive numbers slip a bit.
After joining the White Sox organization in 2016, Collins slashed .258/.418/.467 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 36 games at Class A Winston-Salem. In 2017, he played 101 more games at Winston-Salem, slashing .223/.365/.443 with 17 homers and 48 RBIs. He also played a dozen games at Double-A Birmingham, where he added a couple more homers and five more RBIs.
This offseason's signing of Welington Castillo installs a veteran backstop for two or three seasons at the big league level, meaning there's no rush for Collins to get to the majors.
As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Collins rated as the No. 7 prospect in the White Sox organization.
Get to know Collins in the video above.
Playing a rebuild-centric edition of fantasy baseball is all the rage for South Side baseball fans.
After Baseball America forecasted the White Sox starting lineup for the 2021 season, it sparked a new round of projections, and we weren't going to be excluded.
So here's a guess at what the South Siders will look like three years from now, with some variables obviously being discussed such as additions the team could make through free agency or a trade — Manny Machado? Nolan Arenado? Christian Yelich? — and which of their bevy of young pitchers could be left out of the starting rotation of the future.
Also be sure to send us your future lineups on Twitter. We're @NBCSWhiteSox.