Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Ozzie: Effective Pena would make 6-man rotation work

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TORONTO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he would stay with a six-man rotation if could rely on right-hander Tony Pena in late-inning setup situations.

Talking before Saturday's game against the Blue Jays, Guillen said Phil Humber's continued success in the rotation is making the decision on who to take out a difficult one.

With Sergio Santos closing, Jesse Crain is the only reliable right-hander available in setup situations with six starters in the rotation. Pena, the long reliever, has been used in later innings recently. On Friday night, he allowed a run on three hits in the eighth inning as the Jays widened their lead to 4-2.

"Right now we're a little confused,'' Guillen said, laughing. "We're very confused. The six-man rotation puts a lot of load on Crain. If Pena goes out there and does what he should do, I don't mind staying in a six-man rotation. We even talk about leaving it like that, but my worry is how much Crain will work. He's the only righty we have with Santos. I use Santos as closer, there is a very big gap out there to cover.

"Hopefully Pena come on and do a better job. If Pena do a better job and we have enough confidence in him.''

Pena is 1-1 with a 6.20 ERA. Jeff Gray was more effective than Pena but the Sox lost Gray on waivers when Jake Peavy came off the disabled list. Crain is 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA.

"I wish Pena could be used when we're winning to help Crain and we'd be fine,'' Guillen said.

"My problem is wow. I only bring Pena when we're down or down by one. It's not fair for Crain to carry the load. I'm not going to do it, I'm not going to do it.''

Guillen said the only starters who definitely will stay in the rotation are veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle and Jake Peavy.

"Everybody else is pretty young. We're still talking about it every day,'' Guillen said. "Every day we change our mind. "[Pitching coach Don] Cooper come up with good ideas. To make the right decision, right now in my mind I don't think what I have is the right decision. We have to wait and play around with it.

"You see this kid Humber throw, and [John] Danks, and it's kind of hard. We will work it out. But right now I'm between.''

Guillen said there have been no talks about possibly trading a starter.

"No, we don't even talk about trade, no way,'' he said. "The last thing we talk about is trade. We try to figure out how we're going to play this and how we're going to be a better ballclub. Right now we don't have a close decision. We're still talking to [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and Coop. We have ideas. The only thing is if Pena throws the ball better, then we're set. We're fine.''

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on May 28, 2011 10:41 AM.

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