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

June 2011 Archives

Pierre, Beckham lead White Sox to 6-4 win in 10 innings

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Who needs Dayan Viciedo when you have Juan Pierre?
Wall-bashing, 3-for-5 with a sacrifice fly and three RBI guy Juan Pierre, the much maligned left fielder whom manager Ozzie Guillen has stood by through thick and mostly thin?
Pierre even stole a base in the White Sox' 6-4 come-from-behind victory in 10 innings against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday. For at least a day, and for this series - in which the former Rockie went 7-for-13 to help the Sox take two of three and get within two games of .500 - Pierre kept his critics at arm's length.
So did Gordon Beckham, next in line behind Pierre on the talk-show flogging circuit. Beckham homered to right center in the seventh inning to get the Sox within 4-2 and singled in a run in the eighth shortly before Pierre's sac fly tied it.

White Sox' Rios back in lineup: "Let's move forward"

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DENVER - A day after getting pulled from the game for not hustling, Alex Rios was back in manager Ozzie Guillen's lineup when the White Sox played the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

Rios took his punishment, declined to say much about it and was pleased to be back in center field.

"I'm not going to comment on anything,'' Rios said before the game. "It happened last night, and what can you do. He [Guillen] had to do what he had to do and it's all good. Let's move forward.

"I'm not going to comment because I want to keep the distractions away from the game. We have to win tonight and the rest of the series.''

In Rios' second at-bat Tuesday, he fouled out to first baseman Todd Helton, who caught the ball near the line in front of first base. Rios lightly jogged about halfway up the line. After he flied out to right field his next time up, Guillen pulled him.

"I don't think I send the message to him. I just send the message to the team,'' Guillen said. "I think the worst thing that can happen to any manager is when the players don't play the game right. I'm a big baseball fan. We have people in the stands watching us play. As long as I'm here, I'm not going to let it happen.

"I don't have nothing against Rios. It's not that he's not playing today. He's back in the lineup. I expect better things. I never criticize my players for being 0-for-4 or striking out, but I will criticize my players when they're not playing the way they should be playing."

Despite going 0-for-3 Tuesday, Rios was 12-for-35 (.343) in his last nine games.

"I've been hitting the ball a little better,'' he said. "I hope to keep doing that and help the team win games. We have to win as many as we can. I'm hoping I can contribute somehow.

"When you're comfortable and have confidence in yourself, good things happen. I don't want to try and overdo things.''

White Sox GM Williams: Stop licking wounds, get after it

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It's time to stop the disappointing state of underachieving baseball being played on the South Side, be grateful that the AL Central lead is within reach and start making a run at it, White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Wednesday.

"We are licking our wounds too much,'' Williams told reporters at the Double Duty Classic youth baseball event at U.S. Cellular Field. "At some point you have to say to hell with it and whatever you've done to this point in the season you have to wipe it away and get after it. We have a chance to still win this thing. The individual numbers may not be what they are accustomed to but we still have a chance to collectively have a celebration at the end of the year. And I'd like the focus to be on that and less on the individual numbers. But it's hard to look up at that scoreboard and see numbers you're not used to seeing when you're a player who has achieved a lot in this league. I get that. But what I get also is it's time. It's time to wipe that away because we're better than this.''

The morning after manager Ozzie Guillen labeled a 3-2 loss to the host Colorado Rockies in 13 innings as the worst defeat of the year, a game in which he benched center fielder Alex Rios for not running hard, Williams said he hadn't discussed it over the phone with Guillen but wholeheartedly supported the message Guillen sent.

"Well I completely support it and Ozzie knows without even having to ask the question he knows I support moves like that, decisions like that and I'm certainly not going to take an exception to it,'' Williams said. "Those types of moves and actions send a message to everyone else and are a little bit of a reminder.''

"Rios don't run the bases, that's why I got him out of the game,'' Guillen said after the game. "It's not the first time it happened. I don't like the way he run the bases. My players can be very bad. And that's a message for everyone: If they don't f---ing run the bases, their reputation comes on me and I have a greater reputation in this f---ing game to do it that way. They don't run the bases they're out of the game. I don't give a s--- if it's Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn or anyone. You don't run the bases you're out of the game.''

The Sox start the day trailing first place Detroit by five games in the AL Central.

"We're very fortunate to have a chance to win the division without playing even close to our capabilities,'' Williams said. "That I can be thankful for, but I'm certainly not happy. And we're going to have to start to turn this around quickly.''

Ozzie had seen enough: "I was glad"

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DENVER -- Ozzie Guillen was the first one in the White Sox clubhouse after the Colorado Rockies defeated his team 3-2 in 13 innings on Tuesday night. The Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki, taking a page from Enos "Country" Slaughter, scored from first on a single to win the game and put Guillen in a foul mood.
"I was kind of glad,'' said Guillen, after watching his team waste scoring opportunities in the first four innings, then go inept offensively after that. "Because I was suffering there with my coaches. We had opportunities. F--- it, get the game over with and we go home and hopefully we get it tomorrow. It was the worst game we played all year long. We had chances over and over and over but we didn't take advantage. You do that over and again, the baseball gods get you.''
Slaughter's well known "mad dash" was made during the seventh game of the 1946 World Series. He scored from first base for the go-ahead run for the Cardinals against the Boston Red Sox.

White Sox' Guillen yanks Rios

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DENVER -- Citing a lack of hustle, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen removed center fielder Alex Rios during the seventh inning of the Sox' 3-2 loss in 13 innings to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Rios, who dropped a fly ball and was 0-for-3, flied out to right field during the seventh. He was replaced in the field by Brent Lillibridge in the bottom of the inning.
"Rios don't run the bases, that's why I got him out of the game,'' Guillen said. "It's not the first time it happened. I don't like the way he run the bases.
"And that's a message for everyone: If they don't f---ing run the bases, their reputation comes on me and I have a greater reputation in this f---ing game to do it that way. They don't run the bases, they're out of the game. I don't give a s--- if it's Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn or anyone. You don't run the bases you're out of the game.''

DENVER -- Struggling designated hitter Adam Dunn played golf with White Sox sports psychologist Jeff Fishbein on a recent off day.
"He's actually real good, so that added more stress to my life, golfing with him,'' Dunn said Tuesday.
Good to know he has a good short game, but can he fix Dunn's swing? Is he a good shrink?
"I talked to him a little bit,'' Dunn said. "It works for different people. I don't know if it works for me but you know, I have talked with him and I even golfed with him. I like him. [But] I don't know what's a good one. It's my first run-in with one.''
Dunn struck out four times against the Nationals on Sunday, three times against Livan Hernandez. He raised his AL-leading strikeout total to 100. He's 2-for-26 with 16 strikeouts and one walk in his last seven games.
"I just need to go back to basics and quit thinking,'' he said Tuesday. "It's not me. I'm not a thinker. I have to see it, hit the d--- thing and not make it so complicated.''
Manager Ozzie Guillen said Dunn will probably play in the last game of their Sox interleague game at Colorado, replacing whomever he believes needs a day off the most among left fielder Juan Pierre, right fielder Carlos Quentin or first baseman Paul Konerko.
"I'm not giving up, I promise you,'' Dunn said. "There's still a lot of baseball left. We put ourselves in position where guys who have been struggling have to step it up.''
As tough as this slump, the worst Dunn has experienced in his career, has been, he said he's not taking it home to his wife and young sons.
"The kids don't know. They have no idea. It's not fair for me to bring it home to them. They haven't sucked for four months.
"I put it in perspective as good as I can. When it's over it's over. It's been harder than it has in the past, but it's not fair for me to go home and pout about work. I'm not going to punish my two kids.''

Adam Dunn's slump has been so bad, he doesn't answer his phone because he doesn't wants to talk about it any more. He's frustrated, White Sox fans are past the point of impatience and they're letting him know it, for booing out loud.

"I know how frustrated they are, because my family is frustrated, everyone,'' said Dunn, who was given a day off against Cubs left-hander Doug Davis on Wednesday. "I don't even answer my phone anymore because I don't want to hear what's wrong with this and that. It's frustrating. I can't even put into words.

"I've never been through anything like this in my life. It's the most frustrating thing that's ever happened to me.''

Given a four-year contract for $56 million this off-season, the expectations for Dunn were something like 40 home runs and 100 RBI. His 282 homers since 2004 trailed only Albert Pujols in all of baseball.

Adjusting to a new league and designated-hitter duty has been challenging, and an emergency appendectomy in April abbreviated a good groove. Dunn has only shown glimpses of getting his swing back, and he was batting .178 with seven homers, 29 RBI and 91 strikeouts through Tuesday.

"It's tough as a hitting coach to see one of your guys go through what he's going through,'' Greg Walker said Wednesday. "This is a tough game to play, a tough league and a tough city to play in. It's not going to get any easier. He's going to have to fight through it.''

The latest media criticism of Dunn is for not hitting during the offseason. He has an off-season conditioning routine, he said, but he doesn't hit, which hasn't prevented him from being one of eight players in history to hit 40 homers in five straight seasons. Keep company with Babe Ruth, Duke Snider, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez and nobody cares.

Slump big time and lots of experts have lots of suggestions.

"We don't want to change him,'' Walker said. "We don't with players who come over here ... sometimes you have to think out of box and make adjustments, sure, that might be something that has to take place here for him to get going. But we signed Adam Dunn. That's who we're trying to coach. And to be honest with you - and most people would think this is a ludicrous statement -I don't think he's that far away. I think if he gets his body in position to hit he will be Adam Dunn again.

"We've encouraged him to be more aggressive in the areas where he likes to hit the ball. What pitch do you want -- and where -- and don't go up looking for a walk. Get your pitch and hit it. He has a great eye - that's evident.''

Walker said Dunn's bat speed remains exceptional for a hitter his size. His problem boils down to having his big body in the right place at the right time.

"The only thing we're trying to get him to do is get started on time and get his body in position to hit,'' Walker said. "That's been his big miss this year. He's been late and caught back, which puts you too far under in a swing plane. I personally think that's all there's too it.''

There is also the mental side, Walker said.

"Most of this game is played between the ears. Right now he's not all that confident.''

Said Dunn: "You've got to look at it like this - no matter , this isn't going to be my best year, statistically. I get it. I'm fine with it. But from here on out, my goal is to do whatever I can to help the team win that game, that day ... I get it. It's not going to be my best year. I'm fine with it. But that doesn't mean I still can't get hot and help the team win a bunch of games."

Walker sees that happening.

"I believe he's going to get a feel here sometime during this interleague or after and run it out and have a monster second half,'' he said. "I really do. I really believe that.''

White Sox' Humber sees positives in 6-man rotation

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Jake Peavy's return on Wednesday night expanded the White Sox rotation to a six-man crew, which nobody seems to mind.

"Having Jake Peavy in the rotation is a positive no matter how you look at it,'' said Philip Humber, whose stellar performance as the fifth man when Peavy was out put the six-man into use. "That's good for us. All the starters, the guys I have to talked to, say the extra day of rest makes you feel a little stronger so it's definitely a positive.''

With today's off-day, Humber will start on six days rest when he faces the Washington Nationals on Sunday. He has gone seven innings or more in his last six starts and nine of his last 10. With 90 innings, he's on pace to approach the 200-mark. Having never thrown more than 139 innings in a season (as a minor leaguer in 2007), the extra rest has value for Humber as well as Peavy and veteran Mark Buehrle.

Humber is 6-3 with a 2.90 ERA. At $500,000, his bargain-of-the-year salary is 1/32nd of Peavy's $16 million. His money pitch to some degree is his newest one, a slider he added with the help of pitching Don Cooper while he fighting to win a spot on the roster during spring training.

"I always felt my curve ball was good enough, that I didn't need another breaking ball,'' Humber said. "I had always heard if you go to a slider, you lose your curve ball. But at this point in my career I was willing to try anything. It's been big for me to have that fourth pitch as a swing-and-miss pitch, or just a strike pitch to give hitters a different look.''

Peavy started against the Cubs in the rubber game of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. He was activated from the disabled list before the game (groin strain).

White Sox' Dunn: Imagine how frustrated I am

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Adam Dunn has been through slumps, but never like this.

He has heard boos before, but maybe not with the same level of intensity he has heard during the first two games of the White Sox series against the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field.

"Obviously, nobody wants to get booed,'' Dunn said after going 0-for-4 in the Sox' 3-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday night. "It kind of comes with the territory.''

Dunn, who signed a four-year free-agent contract for $56 million during the off-season, was the centerpiece of the Sox' "All-in" campaign. But he has performed well below expectations, batting .175 with 91 strikeouts. A prolific home-run hitter, Dunn has hit seven homers this season, as many as Brent Lillibridge and one more than Gordon Beckham.

"Would it be a lot easier if I wasn't getting booed? Yes,'' Dunn said. "Imagine how frustrated I am. That's the only way to put it.''

"It's not the first time I've been booed I can tell you that.''

When asked if he was concerned about how Dunn would react to the fans and whether it might affect his performance, Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the only solution is to play better.

"If you don't want to be booed by the fans, do something better,'' Guillen said.

Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, upon seeing Sox fans' treatment of Dunn on Monday night, said Tuesday that Chicago fans are "the worst" when it comes to hostile treatment of players. Soriano, a big-money free agent whose performance hasn't lived up to the paychecks in the fans' or media's view, has been booed at Wrigley Field.

"The fans don't want to boo the home run or the base hit with two outs,'' Guillen said. "When you're struggling like that, we're in Chicago, the fans are pretty tough, they demand a lot. Especially when the hype, the expectations, were very high on him.

"I don't think [Dunn] worry about it, but do you care? Of course you care. You know your family's up there listening when they're booing you. But the only thing you can do is go up to the plate and hit a home run and people will forget pretty quick.

"One at-bat, people will love you. One at-bat, hopefully today, one at-bat with a couple men on base and things will change.'

Asked if the booing makes it tougher for him to hit, Dunn said, "What do you think? You know what I'm saying? Would it be easier? Of course it would. But it is what it is. I don't go up there going, 'oh no, gotta get a hit here.' That's part of it.''

White Sox' Beckham sits a third straight day

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Gordon Beckham, a career .359 hitter against the Cubs, was out of the White Sox lineup for the second straight night of the crosstown series and third straight game overall.

Beckham is hitless in his last 12 at-bats and has two hits in his last six games. Omar Vizquel will play second base and bat second in manager Ozzie Guillen's lineup. Guillen said Tuesday that Beckham will be back in the lineup on Wednesday.

"It's a not a punishment thing,'' Guillen said. "Hopefully he puts his mindset together and think about he's not the man, don't think about if he's not hitting we're not going to win.''

Hitting coach Greg Walker wants Beckham to simplify things at the plate and to play within himself.

"If he does get a fastball thrown by him he starts doubting his ability like most hitters,'' Walker said. "I'm not just talking about Gordon. This has been rampant in baseball for 100 years. When you get beat, what do you want to do? You want to do more. He's in a process of learning to trust his ability and not try to do more.

"Looking back at Gordon's 2009 tape it was brilliant how simple it was. When Gordon goes bad, his leg kick is bigger, his hand move is bigger and he ends up with bad posture and a loopier, longer swing. We need less of a leg kick, hand move, less of an effort level.''

Beckham was one of the first Sox on the field Wednesday afternoon, taking extra work in the batting cage with Walker. With Kevin Hickey throwing batting practice to him, Beckham started out by hitting left-handed.

Guillen hopes the days off will help his mindset.

"Try to play like a normal second baseman and hit like he's supposed to hit,'' Guillen said Monday. "Don't believe in highs. Don't believe you're that good. You're not that good. That's the thing that happens when people talk about you like, wow. Just go out and play the game and don't worry about what people say and don't worry the marketing, don't worry about I was good in college, I was good in Little League. Just play your game. I think right now, mentally he's not there. That's why I'm going to give him a couple days.

Said Walker: "He's a young guy who's not confident right now but he has to fight through it.''

The Sox lineup against Matt Garza: Juan Pierre LF, Vizquel, Carlos Quentin RF, Paul Konerko 1B, Adam Dunn DH, Alexei Ramirez SS, AJ Pierzynski C, Brent Morel 3B, Mark Buehrle P.

White Sox GM: Sox must play better fundamentally

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White Sox general manager Ken Williams echoed manager Ozzie Guillen's and pitcher Jake Peavy's recent call for better fundamental baseball before the Sox faced the Cubs to open a tree-game series at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night.

"Listen, if you are going to play championship baseball you have to be fundamentally sound,'' Williams said. "You have to catch the ball, you have to execute. The double plays, the pickoff plays ... the running game has to be slowed certainly to a greater degree. We have to get runners in with less than two outs at a greater clip.''

The Sox showed signs of playing better when they won two of three from the Diamondbacks in Arizona over the weekend. They scored runners from third with ground ball outs, held the D-backs running game in check for the most part after the Twins stole five bases in one game last week, and had timely hits.

"There are a number of things,'' Williams said.

Overall, Williams said he has been pleased with Sox pitching.

"The starting pitching has been sound, the bullpen has had a blip here and there but there are not a lot of bullpens I would take ours,'' Williams said.

Offensively, the Sox problems are much more than Alex Rios and Adam Dunn having sub-par years. That's part of it, but it goes back to the basics, Williams said.

"When you're fighting tooth and nail for every ballgame, those things become very glaring,'' Williams said.

White Sox manager Guillen passes kidney stone; Dunn in RF

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PHOENIX -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen arrived at Chase Field about two and a half hours before gametime Sunday after passing a kidney stone at a local hospital this morning.

Guillen did meet with the media before the game as he usually does, resting instead after the painful ordeal, and he felt well enough to manage the team's last game on their road trip. The Sox were looking to win their second straight game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Adam Dunn started in right field in a somewhat revamped lineup. Dunn has been taking fly balls in left field anticipating some game action there. Guillen asked Dunn after Saturday's game if he was up for playing right and Dunn was all for it.

Moving to his right, Dunn made a running catch of Ryan Roberts' fly ball to end the third inning.

"It shouldn't be that big of a deal, I've done it all my life," said Dunn, who has played right field about 100 times in his career. He has played many more games at first base and left field. This is his first season in the American League, where he has been used primarily as a designated hitter with spot duty at first base.

Dunn shagged fly balls in right field during Sox batting practice Sunday.

Right fielder Carlos Quentin, who has been in a slump on the road trip, was not in the starting lineup. Juan Pierre was back in left field leading off, followed by Omar Vizquel at second base and Alexei Ramirez at shortstop batting third.

Pierre got the Sox' first hit of the game against Josh Collmenter, leading off the fourth inning with a line single to left field.

White Sox Lillibridge strives for consistency, starting role

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PHOENIX - Brent Lillibridge has been an impact player for the White Sox, one who would garner team MVP votes if a tally were taken today.

But there he was again Friday night, on the White Sox bench for the third straight game on the road trip.

"I'm not 100 percent happy not playing [every day] but that's the role I'm in and I have to continue to prove I can play when I'm in there and be consistent,'' Lillibridge said. "That's what they are looking for - consistency.

"My goal is to be an everyday player. There is a lot more money (big smile) in that.''

Lillibridge is batting .273 with seven homers and 12 RBI. But in his last seven games, he's 1-for-15. There remains an open debate about whether he would be better for the Sox in his role as a platoon player or playing every day. As left fielder Juan Pierre putters around in left field and in the leadoff spot - where he has stopped stealing bases - some wouldn't mind seeing Lillibridge plugged into left.

"I've had to dig myself out of a hole I created two years ago when I first made the team and didn't look good in front of [manager] Ozzie [Guillen] and [general manager] Kenny [Williams],'' Lillibridge said. "I didn't show I had the ability to hit in the big leagues.

Said Guillen: "We give him a chance early last year and he couldn't do it. Can the kid play every day? He has to show us.''

In his platoon role spelling Carlos Quentin in right, Alex Rios in center and Pierre in left, Lillibridge has been a star, making huge tabloid headlines in New York with game-saving catches in the ninth inning and one last week at U.S. Cellular Field to prevent a home run, to name a few.

"I don't get to set up the lineups, I don't decide when I play,'' Lillibridge said. "Just be patient and perform when I get a chance to start, and focus on what I can do for the team in a particular game. In games I've struggled in, I've found a way with walks, getting on base or obviously defense -- showing I can contribute when things don't go right.''

"He's matured as a player,'' Guillen said, "and he's a way better player than he was the last couple of years. Yes he is. He's a better hitter, and he always played good defense in the outfield.

"Can he show us he can play every day? Well, that will be nice.''

If he doesn't, Lillibridge will try to carry on what he started - being one of the American League's biggest impact players off the bench.

"I don't think there is any tougher job in all of baseball than being a bench player in the American League,'' Lillibridge said. "The inconsistency of playing time. Guys in the National League get an at-bat every game. On a National League team, I'd probably be in the game every day for defense

"It's not just me. Our bench, whether it's me, Omar [Vizquel], Mark Teahen when he gets healthy and going, and [catcher Ramon] Castro, we're all impacts. We come in there and make impacts offensively.''

White Sox-Twins rained out

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox' scheduled game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night was postponed because of rain.

The makeup date has not been determined. It will not be during this series, which continues Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon. In all likelihood, the teams will play a doubleheader later in the season.

"You know what is funny? Where's the Metrodome when we need it?'' Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

The game was called about 50 minutes after the scheduled starting time, which Guillen and his players appreciated. It beat waiting till late into the evening and then having it called off.

Scheduled starters Gavin Floyd of the Sox and Carl Pavano of the Twins will pitch Wednesday.

"You just try to get going,'' Floyd said of waiting out te delay. "Just try to eat well, have some carbs. Mentally try to prepare yourself. Even though we were supposed to go at 8:15 maybe, I'll still try to mentally prepare even though I saw the radar and my meteorologist expertise said it was really an 11:15 start with a small window. But you just try to mentally prepare.''

White Sox' Peavy willing to pitch out of bullpen

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MINNEAPOLIS - Whatever it takes or wherever you need me, Jake Peavy says, I will go.
Even the bullpen? Peavy said he bounced it off pitching coach Don Cooper, telling him, ''I'll do whatever needs to be done.''

"If I need to go to the bullpen to help out there, we've got five starters doing their thing. I can be a leader in the rotation as well and be as good as these guys have been. But I'll do whatever it takes because there is no weak link right now on the team.''

Before the Sox' game against the Twins was postponed because of rain, Peavy threw a bullpen side session at Target Field on Tuesday, received a clean MRI report on his strained groin and made plans to make a rehab start for AAA Charlotte on Thursday. He will throw six innings with a 90-pitch limit and if all goes well, return next week when the Sox are home to play the Cubs and the Nationals.

Peavy's unknown bounce-back ability in relief, and perhaps his $16 million salary, are among the factors to weigh. His ability to throw instant strikes and his bulldog mentality lend themselves to relief, perhaps closing.

''Do I think I can pitch out of the bullpen? Absolutely,'' Peavy said. "I think I can help. But I'm certainly not opposed to me being in the six-man rotation, either. We'll see what happens.''

Said manager Ozzie Guillen: "That's got to be a long conversation between a lot of people. This guy has been a starter all of his life. To prepare yourself as a reliever is not the same.''

Guillen spoke with general manager Ken Williams about Peavy before Tuesday night's game was rained out. They appreciate Peavy's willingness to help in any way and won't address the notion until he is healthy enough to pitch again.

"We'll see what happens,'' Peavy said. "But I'm glad to be on such a good team and to be on a team, if this team gets in the playoffs, this team can certainly win a championship. That's all you can ask. The common goal when we're on the flights and sitting around, talking with the guys, grind it out and just try to get in. Do all we can do to get in and give this team a chance because we do feel we have a great chance to win a championship if we do get in."

The Sox and Minnesota Twins were scheduled to open a three-game series at Target Field on Tuesday night, but were delayed by rain. The Sox have won nine of their last 13 and 22 of 35 as they opened a six-game road trip that continues against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Sox in that span went from 11 games below .500 and 11 games out of first place in the AL Central to four games out.

"We've made up some ground,'' Peavy said. "We're not in good position, but in a position to make up some things happen. Cleveland, obviously, has hit a slide like we and all the teams behind them did early. Detroit is starting to play every well. This team is starting to play well. I think it's a big series for the boys. Come up here and win two of three and stop their momentum.

"if you give these guys life... I certainly don't want the Twins to have any more life than they already have. To lose a series and let them have life, we certainly don't want to have to deal with this team down the stretch. We saw the problems that they can create to anybody they play.

"We're believing. We certainly have more upside. Pitching has been outstanding, except for a few hiccups, on this last homestand that cost us some games late. But that's going to happen to any club. I love our pitching. I think we've been about as steady as we can be. Our offense, with [Adam] Dunn getting going and [Alex] Rios starting to show signs, I think we got enough. We have enough talent to win the Central, but we got our work cut out for us with Detroit, as good as they are, Cleveland and this team and Kansas City. We got a tough division."

Guillen's son Ozney doesn't get drafted

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The White Sox - and every other major league team - passed on drafting Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's son in the major league draft that concluded Wednesday.

The Sox had drafted Ozney Guillen, a corner infielder, out of high school in the 22nd round a year ago. He opted to attend Miami Dade Junior College instead of signing with the Sox, and batted .347 with one home run.

Any team can offer Guillen a free aget contract, but he will not be offered one by the Sox.

"No. We will not,'' general manager Ken Williams said before the Sox played the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday night. "I think the potential for distractions weigh heavily towards a situation that's not in anybody's best interests.''

Ozzie Guillen was not happy that Ozney was taken as late as the 22nd round last season, and it caused friction between him, his family and Williams. On Wednesday, Guillen said he was OK with his son not being among the 1,530 players chosen over the draft's 50 rounds.

"The Sox have their own way," he said. "They can draft whoever they want. I don't expect the Sox to draft my kid because he's my kid. I expect the Sox to sign the people they think can help them in the future.

"Maybe he's not that good.''

Sox scouting director Doug Laumann pointed to Ozney's shortage of power as a possible drawback for a corner infielder.

"[Dominican Academy director] Rafael Santana's kid went in the second round [by the Dodgers],'' Williams said. "Doug Laumann's kid went to Atlanta. I tried to talk our people out of taking my son [in the fifth round in '08].

"Nobody can afford to pass someone because of some sort of personal issue. I love the Guillen family. Just three days ago I expressed that to everyone. The peripheral stuff that came out recently is the same stuff that came out last year. I can't tell you anything more than I told you the last time before that, and the last time before that.''

The latest "peripheral" was a Tweet by Oney Guillen, Ozney's brother, questioning the Sox' first pick in the draft on Monday night.

"It's just inconsequential to me now,'' Williams said. "It is, but with respect to moving forward and the potential for other things to arise as a result of the draft yesterday and today and the decision and if we'd gotten him in the organization, it's an organizational thing that is too great to deal with. We're not going there any more."

General manager Ken Williams excused Jake Peavy for pitching while hurt. Well, sort of.

"I know what to expect; it's Jake Peavy,'' Williams said. "You can't acquire someone knowing that he's got that bulldog attitude, and have that be one of the reasons you acquired him, and at the same time when it doesn't work in your favor, be critical of him.''

Peavy was roughed up for six runs in the fourth inning by the Tigers in a 7-3 loss Sunday after he pitched three scoreless. The difference was a groin strain that was aggravated in the third, an injury that put him on the disabled list Wednesday and raised the question of whether Peavy hurt his team by pitching hurt.

"It's kind of like dealing with Ozzie [Guillen] to a certain extent,'' Williams said. "You know what you're getting. You can't be overly critical on one end when some of the aspects of a personality come out when you've used that to your advantage more times than not.''

Peavy is eligible to come off the DL in 12 days, but if and when he's ready, a minor-league rehab assignment will follow, much to his chagrin.

"No matter what he thinks he can't simulate the intensity of a game in the bullpen, warming up or during [fielding drills],'' Williams said.."You just can't do that. You have to get in the game, have to break toward first base, cover first base...those are the only things that will test how strong you are getting down in your groin area. That's just the way it is.''

White Sox' Peavy headed to disabled list

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Jake Peavy is headed back to the disabled list.
"Disappointing, no doubt,'' Peavy said before the Sox hosted the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. "I was feeling good and beginning to climb with my arm.''
Peavy, who was close to pitching in staff-ace form before he left his last start after four innings Sunday with a strained groin, defended his decision to pitch the fourth inning - in which he allowed six runs after three perfect innings - in discomfort. Peavy said if every player who wasn't 100 percent healthy didn't play there wouldn't be enough to field nine players.
"I wanted to push through it and do what we needed to do, but I think we're looking at the disabled list just because of the MRI results and how sore my exam was with the doctor,'' said Peavy, whose injury is near where the muscle is attached to bone.
On the plus side, the Sox have five solid starters without Peavy, although they'd be hard-pressed to name their No. 1. John Danks would likely start Saturday against Oakland in Peavy's place. Peavy would also miss June 18 at Arizona if he goes on the 15-day DL.
"Who knows? Maybe this will be a blessing in disguise that my arm will be a little stronger and coming back about a year out of surgery to crank my shoulder back up,'' Peavy said. "But definitely disappointing."
"It's not a bad injury but it's a very dangerous injury and we have to be careful about it,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said.

White Sox' speedy top picked shocked, overjoyed

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Outfielder Keenyn Walker, the White Sox first pick in the draft, couldn't believe it when his name was called by the Sox on Monday night.

"When I heard my name, I was in shock," Walker said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Walker said he had a hard time hearing anything except his family members screaming for joy. He was the 47th player chosen overall.

Walker never would have envisioned this last year, when he was a part-time player at Central Arizona Junior College. This past season, he improved by leaps and bounds, batting.402 with 65 stolen bases in 68 attempts.

Walker almost signed with the Cubs out of high school in 2009, but opted to attend college instead.

Here are the Sox' other top picks:

SECOND ROUND: Right-hander Erik Johnson, California; 6-4, 2.91 ERA in 16 starts. Low-to-mid 90s.
THIRD ROUND: Right-hander Jeff Soptic, RHP, Johnson County Community College. Mid-90s fastball.
FOURTH ROUND: Right-handerKyle McMillan, Kent State. Low-to-mid 90s, 1.80 ERA. Academic All-America.

FIFTH ROUND: Left-hander Scott Snodgress, Stanford; Middle reliever, 4.65 ERA.

SIXTH ROUND: Marcus Semien, SS, California; Scrappy infielder hit .272. Good glove.

SEVENTH ROUND: Kevan Smith, catcher, Pittsburgh; 6-4, 240 pounds. Batted.397 with 11 homers, 56 RBI.

White Sox staying with 6-man rotation -- for now

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BOSTON -- The White Sox announced their probable pitchers for their weekend series against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday morning.

Mark Buehrle will start on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field, followed by Edwin Jackson on Saturday and Jake Peavy on Sunday as the Sox stay with their six-man rotation through at least one more round.

The Sox first announced Wednesday that John Danks would pitch Sunday but later moved Danks to Monday to face Seattle. Phil Humber will pitch Tuesday and Gavin Floyd Wednesday.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday the Sox would go to a five-man rotation by no later than the All-Star break.There are two off days during the last two weeks of July and three in August.

"It's working for the time being,'' Peavy said. "I don't know that we've killed anybody in the bullpen and our starters have all done well in that.

"Obviously it has been [good for me], and letting all of us have extra rest, more than most clubs, will work to our advantage in August and September. Hopefully that will pay off.''

The Sox are going for a three-game series sweep in Boston today that would give them a 5-5 record on their road trip through Texas, Toronto and Boston. Gavin Floyd will oppose Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield today at 12:35 p.m.

Brent Lillibridge will start in center as Alex Rios gets a day off. Ramon Castro is catching in place of A.J. Pierzynski and Omar Vizquel, who has a good history against Wakefield, is playing third base.

"I've got a good vibe for this club, I do,'' Peavy said. "We're starting to swing the bats and pitch on a consistent basis if you throw out a few starts here and there. We're starting to play like we thought we were going to play from the get-go. We have a lot of ground to make up -- we understand that -- but I like our chances at this point in time.''

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