CLEVELAND -- Hitting coach Greg Walker came up with one word in particular when asked on Tuesday morning to sum up the 2011 season for the White Sox and their inconsistent offense.
"Disappointing," Walker said. "We had high expectations coming into this year. I've never seen a team more excited to get to Spring Training and get to work.
"We started the season, that opening week, really good, and felt great about the team. And it just kind of didn't happen."
So where did it all go off course for the offense, which entered Tuesday's doubleheader at Progressive Field with a .255 average, 145 home runs and 620 runs scored? There were injuries to such key cogs as Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin, and of course, the struggles of Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham have been documented time and time again.
As manager Ozzie Guillen said recently, a season's worth of underachieving can't be placed on the shoulders of two or three players.
"Some guys had bad years, but overall it was a lot of things," Walker said. "Situational hitting, getting runners in from third with less than two outs, it has been a thorn in our side all year. We had a bad year."
Walker has not talked much about his future, only stating that he will re-evaluate his status before looking into a 10th year as the team's hitting coach. He had the same basic response when asked about the possibility of Guillen not being back for a ninth year at the helm in 2012.
"I don't even want to comment on that," Walker said. "We'll wait until it all happens and see what happens."
Until then, the White Sox will finish this last week and think about the things that went wrong in what had been projected as a very promising year.
"Coming off last year, we finished really strong, and I felt good about everybody, and it's pretty well documented what happened," Walker said. "I thought we would be an elite offensive team, and we turned out to be a below-average offensive team. Just disappointing, that's the only word I can come up with."
Guillen at peace with future decision
CLEVELAND -- There already has been plenty of talk from Ozzie Guillen concerning his managerial future with the White Sox, even with the team having picked up his 2012 option before the 2011 season began.
Guillen reiterated on Tuesday that he would like to know where he stands before departing on a trip to Spain with his wife, Ibis, two days after the season ends. But if a decision is not made at that time, he won't be consumed while he's out of the country.
"I'll turn my switch, and it will be off right away," Guillen said. "I don't want to spend time with my wife thinking about baseball and think about the future."
Lucy thankful for White Sox opportunity
CLEVELAND -- Selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Donny Lucy has spent eight years with the organization. He has seen big league time over the past two years and back in 2007, covering 36 at-bats and 19 games.
Lucy was taken off the 40-man roster after the 2010 campaign, but he elected to come back as non-roster invitee to Spring Training. He attributes the team's familiarity with his work as a reason for his callup from Triple-A Charlotte on Aug. 16.
"When it came down to it, it was pretty much going to be the same situation with other teams as it was here," Lucy said. "I was just talking to my agent and family, and we decided if I was going to make a lateral move, I should do it with an organization that knows me. It has worked out in that they felt comfortable enough to bring me up when A.J. [Pierzynski] got hurt.
"With another organization, I'm not sure that would have happened. That's the advantages of being the guy who has been with the same organization and they know you."
That same roster move could take place during this offseason, but Lucy will examine his future options when the time comes.
"[I'll] just kind of finish up this season and go home and talk with my agent at some point," said the 29-year-old Lucy. "I don't know if they are going to keep me on the roster or designate me. I'll be ready for either situation.
"Every offseason brings different opportunities. I'm eight, nine years into my career, so we'll see what happens. But it has been a good run with the White Sox. If I'm back here next year, that's great. If not, that's fine, too."
Axelrod gets by without best stuff
CLEVELAND -- Dylan Axelrod wasn't nearly as effective in his second start on Tuesday as he was against the American League Central champion Tigers last Wednesday at home. But in holding the Indians to four runs over 4 2/3 innings in the 5-4 victory during Game 2 of the split doubleheader at Progressive Field, the rookie learned about surviving without his best stuff.
"Yeah, definitely. We were able to keep it at four runs," said Axelrod, who allowed seven hits and walked four. "We fought back and got a good win here. So, you know, any time we win, it's fine.
"I had to battle my command today pretty much from the onset. I got through it for the first few innings and then just the fourth inning, it got away from me a little bit. My cutter wasn't where it usually is. Fastball command wasn't there. It was a tough one."
Third to first
Omar Vizquel's two hits during a 5-4 victory over the Indians in Game 2 of Tuesday's split doubleheader moved him into sole possession of 45th place on the all-time hits list at 2,841. Vizquel had 1,616 hits as an Indian, leaving him seventh in club history. The White Sox have won 16 of their last 27 road games and are 10-6 against the Indians. But they are 2-8 in their last 10 overall. The White Sox have recorded an extra-base hit in a season-high 36 straight games, their longest streak since a 49-game stretch in 2010.