Podsednik lands on DL
Outfielder strains right adductor during off-day workout
CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen spent Monday's off-day in Miami, enjoying a break from the early baseball action with his family. But the text messages and voicemails Guillen received upon his return to Chicago on Tuesday morning put quite a damper on his short excursion.
Scott Podsednik suffered a strain of his right adductor during a Monday workout on his own and was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. The injury is not related to the offseason sports hernia performed on Podsednik, and according to a team spokesman who spoke to White Sox athletic trainer Herm Schneider, there is no timetable for Podsednik's return.
An MRI exam taken on Podsednik's injured area Tuesday showed no tear. But on a scale of minor to severe, Podsednik's injury was viewed as moderate-plus. The injury becomes all the more detrimental when factoring in Podsednik's solid start to the 2007 season.
"We'll miss him, and I hate it for him because it's going so good for him," said White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker. "It's the best approach and most confident I've seen him since the first half of 2005. Everything was going his way, and he was working toward a big year."
"It's unfortunate, Pods was playing pretty good baseball," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen added. "Hopefully, when it's time to come off the disabled list, he's ready to roll and he won't miss another game."
Podsednik, 31, had a .303 average with one home run, two RBIs, three stolen bases and six runs scored in 10 games, making him one of two White Sox regulars with an average over .240 entering Tuesday's series opener with Texas. After injuring himself working out during the offseason, leading to the late-January hernia surgery, Podsednik worked his way back into healthy action ahead of schedule during Spring Training.
The fleet-footed leadoff man wasn't expected to break camp with the White Sox, but instead found himself in the starting lineup for the second game of the regular season. Podsednik slipped during Monday's workout, leading to the injury.
After sitting out Sunday's game against Cleveland left-hander C.C. Sabathia, Podsednik had told general manager Ken Williams that he didn't like how his body felt with two straight days of inactivity, bringing about Monday's action.
"This is unfortunate, frustrating," Williams said. "I feel for him more than anything because here's a guy that was being proactive and diligent in his work, coming in on an off-day just to make sure his legs were up and ready to go for today's game because he didn't play on Sunday.
"How can you fault a guy like that? We have a lot of guys like that that will come in on days off, come in early. People don't see it. This is indicative of the kind of environment we have. This is a terrible, terrible blow for him personally. For us, but for him, too."
After deciding on Tuesday afternoon that Podsednik would not be able to go, the White Sox recalled left-handed reliever Boone Logan from Triple-A Charlotte. Logan was one of the last players cut out of Spring Training and now puts 12 pitchers on the White Sox pitching staff, instead of having the extra position player.
Rob Mackowiak, who started against Robinson Tejeda on Tuesday, will platoon with Pablo Ozuna in left field, according to Guillen. Brian Anderson also will get some time in left, with Darin Erstad remaining in center field and moving to the leadoff spot when he's in the lineup.
Guillen mentioned that the White Sox could stick with the extra pitcher even when Podsednik returns.
"We'll see how we're playing," Guillen said. "It's all about pitching and defense. If we need a pitcher, we will keep him."
With Podsednik's legs being essential to his speed game, the White Sox once again will err on the side of caution. Williams believes Podsednik's fourth career trip to the disabled list for a groin injury, including the Minors, could become a prolonged period of inactivity.
"His game is dependent on his legs being healthy, so this may be a little while," Williams. "But we've got BA, got Mackowiak, got Ozuna we can put out there at the leadoff spot, too. We'll keep rolling along. The game is pitching and catching it first."
"Start going down that list, looking at speed guys who play this game for a long time and can be great leadoff hitters and don't get hurt, and there are not a lot of them around," Walker added. "It's a tough spot. They are very active, they use their legs a lot and then starting the season with the weather like it is, it's tough."
Pregame treatment made Podsednik unavailable for comment on Tuesday. His hard work and dedication on Monday might make Podsednik unavailable on the field for more than the next couple of weeks.
"I don't know how a player has a day off and gets hurt on their day off," said Guillen, shaking his head with a smile. "That's amazing. That's the way we roll. We have a day off and somebody got hurt.
"This kid is a workaholic. We're not going to lose this thing because we don't work. We do. They do. I don't do anything. I just sleep. They work hard. Sometimes, crazy things happen."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.