Frazier flashing leather despite slow start

Frazier flashing leather despite slow start

MINNEAPOLIS -- Todd Frazier now features a .162 average following a 0-for-4 showing Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

So why was the White Sox third baseman smiling amidst the postgame music blaring in the visitors' clubhouse? Probably because his team claimed a 3-1 victory to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins and improve to 7-2.

And while Frazier's bat has been somewhat quiet, he's helping the team in other ways. It was his defense and baseball smarts turning Thursday's momentum.

White Sox won't make hasty decisions

With the White Sox clinging to a 2-1 lead in the sixth with Eddie Rosario on second and nobody out, Joe Mauer hit a squibber down the third-base line. It had the makings of an infield hit against the shift and the potential beginning of a rally against starter Mat Latos.

Frazier gloved the ball near the line, pump-faked to first and then fired to second behind Rosario, who had moved too far off the base. Second baseman Brett Lawrie had to corral the slightly off-target throw, but it began a rundown that eventualy eliminated Rosario from the basepaths. 

It was a plan put into action by Frazier as soon as the ball was hit.

"I already had my mind made up, and he probably would have beat it out," said Frazier, referring to Mauer at first. "You never know, but at the same time, [I] got him a little jumpy at second base. I was going to fake it and throw it no matter what, whether he was off by a little bit or not."

Added Latos, who allowed three hits and one run over six innings: "Definitely gave me an added boost of adrenaline. I threw a split there and he cued it off the end of the bat and the first thing that popped in my head was, 'Oh no,' because we kind of had a shift on him a little bit. I didn't know Frazier was that close to the bag, so it was just fortunate that he made that play and was able to get that guy cutting off on second base."

Robertson records the save

Frazier reached base via an error in the eighth and then swiped second. He ended the contest taking away extra bases from Byung Ho Park by diving down the line and firing a perfect strike to Jose Abreu.

Hitting will come for a talent with a bat such as Frazier. For now, he's doing whatever he can to help the team win as part of this collective success story.

"He can do a lot of different things," manager Robin Ventura said. "The hitting is going to come. He's got power, and it's just nice to see a well-rounded player."

Added Frazier: "There's no way you can get down in the dumps when you are playing for a team like this because you know your time is going to come. I'm struggling at the plate, but what are you going to do? That's the way it is, but we are winning games and we are finding ways. It's a new guy every day."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.