Results tagged ‘ Scott Podsednik ’

Thursday tidbits

Stop me if you’ve heard this tale before.

Bartolo Colon is out of action, on the disabled list with soreness in his right elbow, this time. And Ozzie Guillen is not really sure where the burly right-hander currently is rehabbing.

“No, he’s not here,” said Guillen with a laugh. “That’s hard to find out. That’s the hardest question you ask me, where is Colon?”

Guillen doesn’t see Colon pitching for the White Sox “in the next 20 days” because he has to go on rehab assignments again. Don’t look for Colon to work for the White Sox again this year, unless Jose Contreras continues to struggle, not with Jake Peavy and Freddy Garcia coming back from injuries, and Minor Leaguer Carlos Torres probably providing the same level of efficiency as the veteran.

–Shortstop Alexei Ramirez will return to the lineup on Friday against Cleveland and southpaw starter Jeremy Sowers. Ramirez conceivably could end up hitting ninth against right-handed pitchers, with Guillen not wanting to put the left-handed hitting Chris Getz and Scott Podsednik back-to-back in the lineup.

Gordon Beckham stays in the second spot until further notice.

“Every time we change the lineup, I try to get the guy hot,” Guillen said. “The day I did it with Ramirez was just because he was swinging the bat better, and plus batting second he’s going to see better pitches. That’s why I did it there. Right now, I’m going to give the most at bats to my best hitter.”

–Asked before the game, Guillen found it hard to name a season-long MVP for his team.

“Wow. They’re not playing that good. They’re not playing that bad,” Guillen said. “I think this month, Beckham. I think PK (Paul Konerko) and JD (Jermaine Dye) are playing unbelievable.

“They’re playing well. And the pitching staff, even with Mark Buehrle doing what he did, I think Matt Thornton. Matt has been our savior. There’s no doubt about it. Matt is having a tremendous year.”

–Here’s a couple quotes from Mark Buehrle, who seemingly did his one millionth post perfect game interview today on the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

On the recently concluded Mark Buehrle Appreciation Series:

“To me, it’s kinda weird because you don’t usually get appreciated until you retire,” Buehrle said. “They actually asked me to throw out the first pitch one game. I told them I’d still catch it but I don’t care to throw out a first pitch until I’m retired. It’s hectic and I’ve obviously been doing a lot of stuff. But it’s been well worth it.”

On the ramifications of the Peavy deal:

“Obviously, the (Padres) kept coming up and telling him he had to be moved,” Buehrle said. “But I think (John) Danks and Gavin (Floyd) and I have talked and if not this year then for next year we’re excited when he’s healthy and gets back having us four guys from the start of next season.

“Hopefully, he comes back healthy this year and we can get back in the playoffs and it’ll be a fun run. But we got some good things to look forward to the next couple of years.”

On how he would like his next perfect game celebrated:

“By not talking to the media,” Buehrle said. “Is that possible?”

About that Metrodome state of mind

Minnesota’s three-game sweep of the White Sox earlier this week now stands as nothing but a not-so-distant memory after this strong series effort against the Yankees. But when the White Sox visit the Metrodome again later this season, in what could be a crucial three-game set with huge American League Central title ramifications from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, Scott Podsednik already is asking for an adjustment from his team.

“We really need to change our mindset in the Metrodome,” Podsednik said. “We read a little bit in too much of how we perform there in the past. We psyche ourselves out.

“So, just change our mindset and attitude going in there. We kind of put ourselves behind the eight ball going in there before we even play the games. It was nice to try to erase what we did on the road, to come back and bounce back the way we’ve played here.”

The White Sox have a 4-17 record in their last 21 games played at the Metrodome, so Podsednik’s comments hold great merit.

–Remember, you can find me now on Twitter @scottmerkin.

–Freddy Garcia threw five scoreless innings Saturday night for Bristol, allowing one hit, and striking out two without a walk. Pitching coach Don Cooper believes Garcia is close to being ready to help the White Sox.

“He’s not that far off,” Cooper said. “We started a plan with him. He’s done well on the plan set up. But we don’t want to rush that plan near the finish line. He’s not far from being done.”

Garcia moved to Bristol with Class A Kannapolis embarking on a road trip. Speaking of Kannapolis, Jared Mitchell’s average has dipped to .286 in the midst of a 1-for-14 slump. Mitchell was the White Sox top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Bartolo and Freddy

During the 6 p.m. sportscast on Wednesday of the local Chicago NBC affiliate, the station ran a headshot of Bartolo Colon that was made up to look like Waldo, the famous character kids are trying to find in various books. In this instance, the caption read, ‘Where’s Bartolo?’

Colon apparently was found on Wednesday and was reported to be heading from the Dominican Republic to Charlotte for a scheduled injury rehab start with the Knights on Thursday night. Well, here’s the update.

As of Thursday afternoon, two sources told me that Colon had not yet been seen in Charlotte but was expected to be there and make his scheduled start–weather permitting. Barring an excused sort of absence, it clearly would behoove Colon to show up for this trip to the mound if he has any hope or intentions of pitching for the White Sox again this year. Colon has been out of action since June 7, sidelined by left knee inflammation.

Meanwhile, as Clayton Richard continues to struggle as part of the starting rotation, don’t discount Freddy Garcia from making a return to the White Sox rotation at some point in the second half of the season. The right-hander, who was such a valuable piece to the team’s 2005 World Series run, reportedly has looked good during his program to get back into pitching shape, after being bothered by shoulder problems for the past two seasons. Garcia, 34, agreed to a Minor League deal with the White Sox on June 8 of this season.

Hey, the back to the future move certainly has paid huge dividends with the return of Scott Podsednik.

Saturday in Kansas City

If the question of White Sox needs to improve the 2009 version’s playoff chances would have been posed to Ozzie Guillen a few weeks ago, when the team was struggling to reach .500, then the direct White Sox manager joked how he might have wanted a whole new ballclub on the South Side of Chicago.

When that question was brought up to Guillen on Saturday, though, he took a wait-and-see personnel approach, based on Carlos Quentin’s injury rehab beginning Saturday night with Triple-A Charlotte.

“Right now, with Carlos coming back, we’ll see how Carlos is going to be,” Guillen said. “It’s like we make another trade. Right now, I think we’re playing the way we planned to be playing. We’re playing the way we had this team playing in Spring Training.

“Pitching, play better defense – our offense, a lot of people worried about the offense, but right now we’re fine. I still have to wait and see what happens in these particular days.”

Guillen brought up how wholesale changes won’t be needed. Last year, the White Sox added Ken Griffey, Jr. to the mix at the non-waiver trade deadline, and he became a huge addition when Quentin went down with the right wrist injury and missed the season’s final month. In 2005, the White Sox added utility man Geoff Blum, and all he did was hit the game-winning home run in Game 3 of the World Series against Houston.

Youngsters such as Gordon Beckham and Chris Getz have contributed mightily from the bottom of the order, as they continue to develop. But where these sorts of late-July moves are concerned, Guillen deferred to his general manager.

“That’s Kenny’s stuff. I haven’t even talked to Kenny about the ballclub in the last week and a half,” Guillen said. “It’s easy to be a GM when you’re winning. But we have to be patient.

“Last year when we were in a pennant race, we only brought one guy, and it was Junior. The year we won, we only brought one guy and it surprised a lot of people because it was what we needed. When you’re in a pennant race you don’t need to bring names, and spend money with superstars.

“You have to bring the guy that can fit with the ballclub and is the one you really, really need, and right now we have to wait to get to that point to see what the situation is going to be and see what we need at that particular time,” Guillen said. “Then that’s Kenny’s job. I never demand any players from Kenny. We talk a lot and he knows my feelings.”

–Interesting postgame comments from Gavin Floyd Saturday on the reasoning behind his loss to the Royals, during which he threw only 54 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

“I guess my focus wasn’t exactly there completely,” Floyd said. “I just tried to keep battling and putting up zeros. I got behind a lot of hitters, the fifth and sixth inning. I wasn’t as aggressive as I usually am.”
 
Floyd’s effort on Saturday ended a stretch of eight consecutive quality starts from the right-hander.

–Scott Podsednik continues to point to his offseason training as one of the major reasons for his 2009 success

“I still feel great,” Podsednik said. “I keep saying this. My offseason conditioning and because of the conditioning that AT (White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas) and I go through on a weekly basis, it has been helping me out on the baseball field, without a doubt.”

–Kudos to White Sox assistant director of media relations Pat O’Connell for the truly clever lines of Saturday in the White Sox daily game notes. One header read ‘Saturday in the Park,’ focusing on the White Sox 10-3 record on Saturday’s this season, and that was followed by a note with the header, ‘You’d think it was the Fourth of July.’ You can guess the subject in this instance.

You’ll probably appreciate this combination more if you are a fan of the musical group Chicago.

–Hope everyone is enjoying their respective Fourth of July celebrations. Happy holidays!

Crosstown Showdown, U.S. Cellular version: Day 2

Here are a few additional tidbits from another in the long line of battles between the Cubs and White Sox, covering 13 years. When Interleague Play was invented, I have to believe this is the sort of crowd-pleasing rivalry Major League Baseball had in mind.

–In a day filled with White Sox miscues, one of the strangest ones came on a Mark Buehrle balk in the fifth inning. Alfonso Soriano opened with a bloop single to right and Ryan Theriot drew a walk. Both runners moved up a base when Buehrle went to throw over to first base but Paul Konerko was not near the base. So, Buehrle didn’t go through with the throw, which isn’t allowed while he’s still on the rubber.

The veteran southpaw took full responsibility for this particular mistake.

“I screwed up. It was totally my fault. Not Konerko, (bench coach) Joey (Cora) or (catcher) A.J. (Pierzynski),” Buehrle said. “I was thinking it was a timing play when A.J. gave me the sign. Then, instead of stepping off, I threw it.”

Buehrle believes the balk actually helped the White Sox stay out of a big inning. Milton Bradley’s ensuing line out might not have ended up with shortstop Alexei Ramirez if the middle infield was playing double-play depth with runners on first and second.

As for Buehrle’s effort on the mound, allowing three earned runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, he said that he felt great.

“Obviously, I lost something in that last inning,” said Buehrle, who has a 5.40 ERA in his last three starts at home. “But overall, I felt pretty good.”

–Both manager Ozzie Guillen and general manager Ken Williams have talked about the Cubs-White Sox series being the biggest one either team is going to play if they don’t make the playoffs. The two teams aren’t exactly juggernauts at this point, but the Cubs sit just 3 games out in the National League Central and the White Sox now are just 5 back in the AL Central.

So, Buehrle certainly isn’t ready to pronounce these five games, with one postponement to be made up in September, as the highlight of the season.

“Well, I don’t want to sit there and think that now,” Buehrle said. “There are still two or three months left in the season. I’m not thinking that right now. I just want to go out there and try to win games to get to the playoffs.”

–The scariest moment for Gordon Beckham on Saturday was not hitting in the ninth inning against Cubs reliever Jose Ascanio, with the game on the line. It was seeing Jim Thome and A.J. Pierzynski coming at him at full speed, as the celebration began after his game-winning hit.

“When you see Thome is at full sprint, you know something is up,” said Beckham with a laugh. “It was a lot of fun.”

“Good, good. Just so he remembers that,” Thome said. “No, we were having a little fun with him. It was good.”

–Best guesses for the White Sox All-Star candidates would be Buehrle, reliever Matt Thornton or right fielder Jermaine Dye. But it’s hard to overlook Scott Podsednik, who has been as important to this team staying afloat as anyone on the roster.

–The White Sox are 10-6 in Interleague Play, with two games remaining. Bobby Jenks earned his first career Interleague win on Saturday.

Crosstown Showdown: Round 1

It’s sometimes easy to forget the managerial acumen possessed by Ozzie Guillen.

That aspect of the overall person that is Guillen often gets lost when he’s telling humorous stories about buying T-shirts that make fun of him on the streets near Wrigley Field, not to mention the other comical yarns he spins on a daily basis. But anyone who watched the White Sox in action during Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs understands his sharp and aggressive managerial mindset and how the White Sox take their cue from their leader.

I’m not saying Guillen outmanaged Lou Piniella. In all honesty, I’m not sure if Houdini could have produced a win for the Cubs on Wednesday with as listless as that lineup looks. But the non station-to-station game played by the Whtie Sox is the sort of game Guillen would prefer to see from his team every day.

–I’m just throwing this out there and I want to see how many, if any, of you agree.

If a vote was taken today, would Scott Podsednik be the White Sox Most Valuable Player? That’s where I would throw my support, although a case could be made for everyone from Paul Konerko to Jermaine Dye to A.J. Pierzynski to Mark Buehrle. But Podsednik has changed the dynamic of this lineup.

He reached base three more times on Wednesday, having now reached base in 32 of his last 34 games, and Podsednik is hitting .315.

– Slowly but surely, the White Sox have put together what looks to be a solid bottom part of the batting order. That group includes Chris Getz, Brian Anderson and Gordon Beckham. On Wednesday, the trio reached base six combined times.

“I think we are playing well,” Beckham said. “We’ve all done something in the last couple of games. It helps that our older guys don’t always have to do it. They don’t always have to have the big hits.”

All three have helped out defensively, with Anderson still standing as one of the best with the glove in the American League at his position.

– Here’s Podsednik’s take on the importance of doing the little things in victory.

“That’s what we haven’t been doing in series before this one,” Podsednik said. “That’s what we needed to clean up a little bit: The way we handled the bats, getting guys over, getting guys in with less than two outs. So, the team that takes the field and is able to do those things consistently is going to be able to win games.”

–Guillen had these words of encouragement for Cubs fans after another tough home loss.

“They’ve got a good ballclub,” Guillen said. “If I had to bet, with all respect to St. Louis, Milwaukee and all those teams, the Cubs are going to be in the pennant race.

“Just people in Chicago relax. Quit panicking. Worry about something else. Worry about your family, the kids going back to school and having good grades. Don’t worry about the Cubs, they’ll be fine.”

On Tuesday night, Guillen predicted the Cubs would win the National League Central by 10 games.

Freddy Garcia returns

Another piece from the 2005 World Series championship squad has been brought back by the White Sox, and the team only can hope Freddy Garcia ultimately will be as successful as Scott Podsednik has been.

A White Sox source confirmed that Garcia was signed to a Minor League deal and will report to extended Spring Training in Arizona. Garcia, a close friend of manager Ozzie Guillen, was released by the New York Mets back in April and has been bothered by shoulder problems over the last two years. Garcia was sent to the Phillies after the 2006 season in a trade that brought Gavin Floyd to Chicago, but posted a 1-5 record with a 5.90 ERA in 2007 for Philadelphia before being shut down.

Garcia, who turns 34 on Wednesday, finished with a 1-1 record and 4.20 ERA over three starts for Detroit in 2008. He has a 118-77 career record.

In other player personnel moves, Wes Whisler was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte in between games in order to make room for Jose Contreras.

Quentin leaves the game

Carlos Quentin pulled up lame while running out a double in the first inning of Monday’s contest with the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Quentin’s double to center scored a run, but as he turned the corner around first base, he began to limp and favor his left foot. When Quentin reached second base, he bent over in pain and acting manager Joey Cora and athletic trainer Herm Schneider came out to check on him. Quentin originally was helped from the field but walked to the dugout under his own power, replaced at second by Brian Anderson.

With Anderson’s entrance and Quentin’s injury, Scott Podsednik moved from center to left and Anderson took over in center. Quentin missed five games from May 16-20 with a sore left heel, diagnosed as planter fasciitis.

Lineup change

Scott Podsednik found himself back at the top of the White Sox lineup for the first time since Sept. 28, 2007, moving Chris Getz to the two spot in the lineup for Saturday’s contest against the Rangers. Since his days as third-base coach with the Marlins, having Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen always has been a fan of that one-two punch at the top.

But this move also was made to take a little pressure off of Josh Fields, who is 6-for-26 in the month of May, but just three for his last 17. Fields was dropped down to the eighth spot, with Alexei Ramirez back in the lineup after a two-day respite, batting ninth.

Guillen doesn’t intend to make wholesale changes to the lineup on a daily basis, hoping to find a group that gives his offense a jump-start.

Podsednik returns

Scott Podsednik and the White Sox agreed on a Minor League contract on Tuesday afternoon. Podsednik, 33, played for the White Sox from 2005-07 and was a catalyst at the top of the White Sox order during the 2005 World Series championship season. In 2005, Podsednik hit .290 with 59 stolen bases.

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