Quentin rejoins White Sox for title run
Center fielder Anderson optioned to Triple-A Charlotte
CHICAGO -- The White Sox added a bona fide 2008 American League Most Valuable Player candidate to their 2009 AL Central title drive on Monday, without having to give up any top prospects in return.
Of course, that addition stands as Carlos Quentin, who returned from his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Charlotte and was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. To make room for Quentin, outfielder Brian Anderson was optioned to Charlotte.
Quentin, 26, finished 15-for-40 with four doubles, one home run and 10 RBIs over 14 combined rehab contests with the Knights and Class A Kannapolis, in testing the plantar fasciitis in his left foot that has kept him inactive since May 25 in Anaheim. But in order for Quentin to get the call for a big league return, manager Ozzie Guillen had to receive better reports concerning Quentin pushing the injury on the bases.
Those positive reports apparently came on Sunday.
"When we talked to people down there, I think Carlos got the message that if you don't run right, you're not going to be up here," said Guillen. "The report we got was a good one, and he's here."
"I have some soreness," Quentin said. "Something I'll just deal with, but it's nothing compared to what I experienced in the past, before the injury and after the injury. I'm confident that, knock on wood, I won't have any setbacks."
Guillen didn't hesitate in putting Quentin back in the lineup, with the 2008 All-Star bringing his .229 average, eight home runs and 20 RBIs into the sixth spot against Tampa Bay southpaw David Price. Quentin has special orthotics made for his shoes, in order to give him the most comfortable fit possible, and has no fear of re-injury through pushing himself on a daily basis.
According to Quentin, baserunning, outfield movement and waking up the next day and being able to do it again were the biggest hurdles to overcome. But he stayed the extra time on the rehab assignment in order to test every possible scenario.
"This is the big leagues," Quentin said. "An inch here is pretty big and can cost a game, so I needed to make sure I could perform up to standards that would allow any circumstances like that to not come into play.
"Hitting a base and you're not dealing with standard change of direction -- you're dealing with a torquing of the foot or the circular pattern. It's just not a normal running pattern, as I found out with the injury. And hitting a bag while you're running -- so I think I was on base enough and had enough opportunities to test that, and I responded well."
A major gain for Quentin and the White Sox turned out to be another frustrating setback for Anderson. The 27-year-old stellar defender in center field hit .238 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 65 games this season for the White Sox, and based on the e-mails Guillen received after the fact, the move was not a positive one with the fans.
When asked if Anderson needed a change of scenery at this point in his up-and-down White Sox career, Guillen came up with a more direct answer as to what Anderson needs to change.
"It's just time for him to start playing better," said Guillen. "It's been four years, and I've gotten a lot of e-mails from people calling me racist and stuff because I don't like Anderson.
"Well, if you don't like a player, he's not going to last too long. If I don't like one player, believe me, he'll be out of here in a hurry, because I've got the power. If I told Kenny, 'This guy's no good for the ballclub,' Kenny would do everything he can to get him out of here.
"If people don't think we like Brian, yes, we do," Guillen added. "I think Brian didn't produce the way we thought he would. For four years in a row, we gave him a shot to be the everyday center fielder, and that didn't work. If Brian showed us he can come out here and do the job, he'd be our center fielder."
Scott Podsednik was the White Sox center fielder on Monday and will be for the foreseeable future, with Dewayne Wise waiting in reserve. And if Quentin can find a semblance of his healthy form from 2008, then Williams might have made his biggest move before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline -- without actually making a move.
"In some places, that would be considered an upgrade," said Williams, with a laugh, regarding Quentin's return.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.