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ChiSox’s Simmons ruptures tendon; he’s out for season

KEN BRAZZLE Citizen Sportswriter

Brian Simmons wasn’t enjoying a great spring training, but he had something to look forward to: starting the regular season with the Chicago White Sox.

That came to an abrupt end when Simmons ruptured his Achilles’ tendon yesterday, sidelining him for the entire season.

”He hadn’t had a great spring, but I told him, ‘You made the club. Relax and have some fun.’ Now this happens,” said White Sox general manager Ron Schueler.

Simmons had a horrible spring at the plate, hitting .131 (8 of 61) with a home run and three runs batted in. The White Sox liked him because of his defense. He can play all three outfield positions.

Simmons was injured after stumbling between second and third base on a ball he hit in the right field alley in the second inning off Colorado starter Rolando Arrojo. He had to be helped off the infield.

”It’s a shame for this to happen to a kid who works that hard,” Schueler said. ”We know how versatile he is. He gives you speed and defense at every outfield position.”

The White Sox, who departed for Las Vegas after the game, immediately recalled McKay Christensen from Triple-A Charlotte.

”It was a terrible blow for us to lose Brian that way,” said White Sox manager Jerry Manuel. ”He was a guy who gave us that depth in the outfield we needed and that versatility. It’s a tough break for him.”

Simmons shared time between Charlotte and Chicago last year. He batted .230 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 54 games with Chicago last year.

”It’s a tough thing to lose him. Despite not being a starter, Brian is a big part of the team,” Manuel said.

Christensen was on the opening day roster last year but lost his job to Chris Singleton and was sent down to the minors.

The White Sox will scan the waiver wire to see if they can purchase a veteran to replace Simmons. They would prefer for Christensen to play every day in the minors.

Christensen hasn’t shown that he’s ready for major league pitching.

• More injuries

Versatile Greg Norton was removed from the game in the bottom of the 10th inning for a pinch runner after pulling up at first base with a slight hamstring injury. Norton finished the afternoon with two hits and four RBIs, including a tying three-run homer in the eighth.

The Sox placed catcher Brook Fordyce and infielder Jeff Liefer on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 25. The moves leave the White Sox with 26 players.

• Extra work

Designated hitter Paul Konerko took throws from White Sox pitchers between innings.

Konerko was a catcher at Scottsdale Chaparral High School and early in his professional career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has played mostly in the outfield, first base and third base since joining the White Sox.

Don’t expect to see Konerko behind home plate in Chicago, though. He has expressed his displeasure at catching.

• On to Vegas

The White Sox will close out their preseason by playing two games in Las Vegas.

Right-hander Sean Lowe will face the Seattle Mariners today. He’ll oppose right-hander Brett Tomko. Right-hander James Baldwin gets the nod for the Sox tomorrow against Philadelphia’s Robert Person.


Chicago White Sox outfielder Brian Simmons is helped off the field after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon.

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