Podsednik, Thome to play vs. Rangers
Chicago (11-10) at Texas (10-11), 7:05 p.m. CT
CHICAGO -- Three familiar faces should be in the White Sox starting lineup when the team opens its weekend series Friday night in Texas.Only two of those players actually began the season as part of the White Sox organization. Then again, Scott Podsednik, who would be the third in this group, won't have to jog many memories of White Sox fans to be remembered. Podsednik, 33, signed a Minor League deal with the White Sox on April 14 and hit .262 with one stolen base in 10 games for Triple-A Charlotte. But of course, Podsednik's biggest moment with the White Sox was his walk-off home run in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series against Houston. Over 129 games in 2005, Podsednik hit .290 with 59 stolen bases as the champions' catalyst at the top of the order. He battled through injuries over the next two seasons with the White Sox, but in a Thursday interview on the "Waddle and Silvy" show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Podsednik said his return to the White Sox will be a healthy one. "No issues, that's one of the things I have really concentrated on these last couple years," said Podsednik during the interview with hosts Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman. "Getting my body strengthened to where I can endure and hold up for a 162-game season.
"I had some issues; I was weak in some certain spots that just didn't allow me to stay healthy throughout the course of the season. I feel like I've addressed those issues. I feel like I'm in arguably the best shape I've been in quite some time. I hope that allows me to stay healthy for the duration of the season."With Jerry Owens apparently on his way out, seen shaking hands with teammates and packing his bags in the clubhouse after Wednesday's 6-3 victory over Seattle, Podsednik could step right into a starting role -- especially against right-handed pitchers. Brian Anderson has been starting in center in place of the injured Dewayne Wise, but Anderson could face a bit of an absence after mildly straining his right oblique during Wednesday's game. Anderson received treatment Thursday, but more will be known about Anderson prior to Friday's contest. Jim Thome ran the bases in the rain Thursday, following treatment on his sore left heel. Manager Ozzie Guillen made clear in Wednesday's postgame that Thome had to decide if he would be ready or not for Friday by Thursday afternoon, with a negative response meaning a trip to the disabled list. But Thome gave the all-clear sign to a White Sox media relations representative after the workout. "Yeah, for sure," said Thome, when asked if he planned to play Friday, on the heels of missing the Seattle series. "It's much better than the other day, for sure. "The big thing was to get my running and see where I was with my running and everything was good. I hit yesterday and had no issues." Chris Getz also has been cleared to play Friday, after receiving treatment Thursday. The White Sox second baseman and leadoff man missed five games with a fracture at the top of the middle finger on his right hand. Whether Getz remains as the leadoff man, where he has led the team in hitting, or moves back to the two-slot depends on what the White Sox decide to do with Podsednik upon his triumphant return. That move won't need to be made official until prior to Friday's contest, with no statement coming from the team Thursday. "Last year, I got quite a few at-bats coming off the bench with Colorado. I also feel that I'm very prepared to go out and lead off and play center field if they want to use me that way," said Podsednik, who added he hadn't talked to anyone from the organization about his role, aside from getting the word from Charlotte manager Chris Chambliss that the club was interested in having him back. "So, I don't know the role. I don't know exactly what I'll be walking into," Podsednik said. "Whatever role they're going to use me, I'm ready to go." Pitching matchup
CWS: LHP Mark Buehrle (3-0, 3.00 ERA)
Buehrle improved his career record to 125-87 over parts of 10 seasons by allowing two runs on six hits over six innings during a 10-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Buehrle threw 92 pitches, working on six days' rest, striking out four and walking three. He also moved into sole possession of fifth place on the franchise's all-time strikeout list. TEX: RHP Scott Feldman (1-0, 7.71 ERA)
After posting a 12.15 ERA in three relief appearances, Feldman beat the Orioles on Saturday by holding them to one run in five innings. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out two. This could be his last start before Kris Benson comes off the disabled list but another strong performance could give the Rangers second thoughts about putting him back in the rotation. Feldman is 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in six career games against the White Sox. He beat them, 6-1, on July 21 last year by allowing just one run on four hits in six innings. Tidbits
A.J. Pierzynski threw out Adrian Beltre on the back end of a double play started by Russell Branyan's strikeout to end the seventh on Wednesday, marking the first opposing basestealer gunned down by a White Sox catcher in 23 attempts this year. Pierzynski flung his hands up in the air in mock celebration, although Guillen blamed the problem moreso on pitchers not keeping runners close when talking about the matter after the game. Of course, Guillen couldn't resist poking fun at Pierzynski. "I said how does a guy make $8 million and throw one out every 20 times," said Guillen with a laugh. Pierzynski took pride in helping the team defensively, but also getting starter Gavin Floyd through an up-and-down effort over six innings. ... Pierzynski was given the baseball for his 100th career home run and joked about baseball's Hall of Fame wanting to retrieve the memento, as well as why the White Sox didn't have an outfield countdown board like they did as Thome approached 500. "It's a number I never thought I would reach, to get to 100 home runs," Pierzynski said. "To say I have triple digits is pretty nice. It puts into perspective what guys like Jim and [Ken] Griffey have done." ... Bobby Jenks is 5-for-5 in save situations this season. ... Josh Fields has reached base in 17 of his first 20 games. Tickets
Buy tickets now to catch the game in person. On the Internet
Official game notes On television
CSN On radio
WSCR 670 Up next
Saturday: White Sox (Jose Contreras, 0-3, 6.75) at Rangers (Brandon McCarthy, 2-0, 5.32), 7:05 p.m. CT
Sunday: White Sox (John Danks, 2-1, 2.74) at Rangers (Matt Harrison, 1-2, 7.89), 7:05 p.m. CT
Monday: White Sox (Bartolo Colon, 2-1, 4.15) at Royals (Zack Greinke, 5-0, 0.50), 7:10 p.m. CT
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.