If there is one person the White Sox can ill afford to lose in 2013 its Tyler Flowers. No, the 27-year-old won’t be in the running for an MVP award at the end of the season, but that doesn’t mean the concern regarding his bout with a stiff back the last couple of days hasn’t worried a few people in the Sox’s organization. The pain seems to have subsided and the starting backstop is set to return to the lineup this afternoon against the Cincinnati Reds. But the club better be very sure the injury bug doesn’t linger into the season.
The Pale Hose are counting on Flowers to fill the void left by AJ Pierzynski and his 27 homeruns and .827 OPS. That is no small task for someone with a career .205 average in 273 major league at-bats. And there is no fallback-plan should the former Braves prospect fail or not be healthy enough to play. Hector Gimenez and his experience of playing in 11 MLB games is how GM Rick Hahn has gone about filling the backup catcher spot.
It sounds awful to say, but Flowers doesn’t need to be great offensively or defensively as much as he just needs to stay on the field. Nothing about him “wows” scouts; it’s simply that there is nowhere else to turn should something go wrong.
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