The Tribune's White Sox reporter answers reader questions throughout the season. This week, whether Orlando Cabrera will be on the Sox in 2009, getting Toby Hall more at-bats and Thome and Konerko's hitting.

Seeing as how Juan Uribe is almost ready to play and Orlando Cabrera will likely finish the year at short before becoming a free agent, wouldn't be better for the White Sox to send Alexei Ramirez to the minors to play with Danny Richar every day so that we have our shortstop/second base combo ready to go next training camp and be set for years to come or do you think they will keep Ramirez with the team because he can play a few different positions? -- Scott Miller, Brea, Calif.

Scott, I know you sent this e-mail early last week, so I'll try to expand the landscape here. The hot player stays at second, and that's Ramirez. It looks like the upside is pretty good for him, with the expectation that he'll shift to shortstop next year.

However, a special assignment scout I talked to last weekend during the Devil Rays' series thought the Sox should consider keeping Ramirez at second—considering how far he's come along at that position in a short amount of time—and move Uribe back to short and bat him ninth.

The ascent of Ramirez is the best development the Sox have received among their middle infielders in a long time. Remember it was only a few years ago when we were hearing the likes of Pedro Lopez, Robert Valido and Andy Gonzalez?

With second base being absent of consistent play, when are we going to see John Shelby Jr.? I can't stand watching Uribe, and Ramirez needs to add some muscle. He's Soriano-light. --D. Papaeliou, Las Vegas

I think John Shelby Jr. has some power potential, but I'm curious to see where he ends up playing. It could be second base or the outfield. With Ramirez playing very well, there's no need to rush Shelby. And don't forget Chris Getz at Triple-A Charlotte. He's continued to open eyes in the organization.

Why did Kenny Williams so quickly sour on Tadahito Iguchi? Iguchi's stats right now are much better than anyone who's played second base for the Sox this year. --Blogger Bill, Elmhurst

I've answered this question many times, and this will be the last time. Kenny didn't sour on Iguchi. There was no guarantee of him coming back, and he was eligible to become a free agent if the Sox didn't re-sign him by mid-November. The Sox also needed to take a look at Danny Richar. They used the $1 million they saved by trading Iguchi to apply to other areas of need in free agency.

It seems like everyone is obsessed with the sox getting more speed at the top of the lineup (and inevitably mentioning Jerry Owens). It seems to me the problem isn't the lack of aggressive base running—it's the lack of players hitting for average. Run agressively all you want, you still need to hit the ball to get the run over. Other than Ozzie Guillen's usual "let him hit out of his funk" strategy, what moves do you think the Sox could make to increase their odds of stringing hits together? Ozzie in the past has played Jim Thome at first during interleague play to keep his bat in the line up—think we'll see that this year if both Paul Konerko and Thome continue to stay in a funk? --Joe J, Chicago

As of now, it looks like they're staying the course. But we'll see what happens when they face a string of left-handers, perhaps in next week's Detroit series.

The White Sox have always seemed to have good team harmony in the past. With Orlando Cabrera and Ozzie Guillen as well as Octavio Dotel and Director of Conditioning Allen Thomas going at it, is there a problem in the clubhouse with chemistry? --Mike Kamper, Oak Forest

It's a problem if players are going directly to the GM about their issues regarding certain players, rather than hashing out their concerns with that player in a face-to-face meeting or telling the manager if they fail to reach any common ground with that player.

In regards to this clubhouse, this might be the year where having a little edge doesn't hurt.

Why is it nobody is calling out the Sox new third-base coach for such a lack of improvement this year in baserunning and bunting? And what happened to Ozzie Guillen's NL managing skills? The Sox refuse to bunt guys over no matter who is at the plate. I also see the Sox making just as many bad running decisions as last year. That third base coach hasn't improved a thing! At some point, it makes you wonder what value a coach actually has. To me, I don't see any improvement at all so why not let a fan coach there. He could do just as good with this team as the jokers they run out there now. --Mike, Manteno

Mike, you'll be surprised to learn that Jeff Cox, the third base coach, reads this forum. He took exception to being referred to as "conservative" about two weeks after I wrote this instead of bringing this up sooner.

The Sox 2008 media guide provides comprehensive biographies on all upper level staff members, coaches and players. However, I knew about Jeff Cox's background from his playing days in Oakland well before the media guide was printed and well before he pointed out his exception to being described as "conservative."

I've seen Ozzie call for the bunt, only to see the batter fail to execute twice before the bunt sign is taken off.

As for the third base coach's teaching of base running skills, I'll say that I was impressed with his base running lectures at first, second and third base in spring training. He's not the worst third base coach I've covered, and he's not blessed with Olympic sprinters. So I guess we'll have to live with his "methodical" style.