CHICAGO – White Sox notebook from July 24
Scott Podsednik returned to the White Sox on Tuesday, but his spot in the batting order wasn’t there waiting for him. Coming off a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte, Podsednik started both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader in left field, but he batted seventh instead of his usual leadoff spot. Rookie Jerry Owens, at least for now, is the Sox leadoff man. “Right now, I don’t know what ‘Pods’ ’ stage is,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “He’s got to show me how he can do running and all the different skills he needs to show us he’s back on his game. We had Owens the last 15 days, and he showed me a lot of improvement offensively, and he showed me that since we called him back up, he’s played pretty well.” Guillen said if Podsednik can return to the form he showed before straining his rib cage, the Sox will “think about” putting him back up top. Still, it’s going to hard to pry the spot away from Owens. “Wherever I can contribute, I want to contribute,” said Owens, who had hit safely in 15 straight starts, batting .319 over that stretch. “If that’s at the top of the order, that’s awesome. That’s where I want to be. If it’s elsewhere, that’s awesome, too.” Owens could be playing for a 2008 Opening Day roster spot right now, especially if the Sox either trade or don’t re-sign Jermaine Dye and choose not to bring back Podsednik (arbitration-eligible) and/or Darin Erstad (club option for next season). “Guys get their opportunities all the time,” Owens said. “Guys come up, and some guys make the most of it, other guys don’t. I’ve come to learn, especially the second time around, it’s just part of the job.” Speaking of Auditions Rookie Josh Fields continued his recent hot streak as the replacement for Joe Crede (back surgery) at third, hitting a homer in his second consecutive game Tuesday afternoon. It was the first time in his career he homered in back-to-back games. “Hopefully, the more and more games I play, I’ll stay comfortable, I’ll have a lot more success,” said Fields, whose solo homer in the fifth off Jeremy Bonderman made him 7-for-14 with six RBI in his past four games heading into Tuesday’s nightcap. “I think if they continue to swing the bats like this, they’re going to be here for a while,” Guillen said of Fields and Owens. Heard That One Before Guillen met with general manager Ken Williams in the morning and insisted the trade market is “quiet” and there is “nothing out there” right now for the Sox. Still, Tuesday’s starter, Javier Vazquez -- who signed a three-year, $34 million extension in the spring and has been mentioned in numerous rumors -- would rather not hear anything. “You hear your name out there, but I’ve heard my name for a lot of years -- especially around this time,” Vazquez said. “I don’t read about it. If you guys don’t tell me about it, I don’t know. I hate reading the paper. It’s not an important issue.” Making Some Moves The Sox optioned reliever Dewon Day (11.25 ERA in 13 games) to Charlotte to make room for Gavin Floyd, who started the nightcap. They put Luis Terrero (groin injury) on the 15-day disabled list to make room for Podsednik. More White Sox coverage is at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports.