Slow start Eaton at White Sox leadoff hitter

Disappointed at not being consistent catalyst

Slow start Eaton at White Sox leadoff hitter

CHICAGO -- Adam Eaton's extremely slow start has been complicated by the White Sox leadoff man pressing and trying to do too much with every at-bat. But that pressure Eaton is feeling has very little, if anything at all, to do with individual statistics.

"The reason I press is not individually. It's for a team and for a city," Eaton said on Tuesday. "I want to win for the city. I think they are all excited about us. We want to put some wins on the board. We want to get off to a good start.

"But now, after the dust has settled a little bit, I realize it's a long season. At the end of the season, I believe as an individual, my numbers will be there."

Eaton's nice running catch

Eaton entered Tuesday's game against Cleveland hitting .149 with no RBIs and just two runs scored. Again, though, those numbers aren't what matter to him. He's more concerned about assisting the offense as a whole.

"I want Jose [Abreu's] numbers to be there. I want Melky [Cabrera's] numbers to be there. I want [Adam] LaRoche's numbers to be there," Eaton said. "In order for their numbers to be there, I have to be on base. That's my job.

"When we scuffle early and we don't score a lot of runs early, I've put a lot of that on myself. I'm supposed to stir the drink. I'm the straw. That's my job. When we don't do that, I definitely take it personally. At the same time, I need to mature a little bit in the sense that it's a long season. The next at-bat and the next game is a new opportunity for myself to prove that I belong here and I should play here."

A Spring Training deal covering five years, $23.5 million and two option years is not what drives the leadoff man to succeed.

"My motivation comes from within and everyone around me," Eaton said. "So I don't look too much into that. I know you have to ask that question, but my mind hasn't been on that at all."

"For a guy that when it happens his first time, sometimes it can be difficult to go through, to have expectations like that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You have to be able to learn how to just put that aside and play the game like you've been playing it all along."

Eaton went 2-for-4 with run scored in Tuesday's 6-2 loss, and raised his average to .176.

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.