CHICAGO -- Following a second consecutive tough home loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen held a closed-door talk with his charges.
And the message of the meeting sounded a familiar refrain: Guillen still believes in this group, despite it sitting 8 1/2 games behind the Twins in the American League Central and eight games under .500 entering Thursday.
"I told them last night, 'If you don't believe in yourself, I do,'" said Guillen of the meeting's tenor. "I told [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams] about it, I said right in his face, 'I think we should win with this ballclub and compete with this ballclub.'
"You look around this ballclub, and if you release any of these players or let them go, they will be picked up by somebody. That's how good they are. You pick anyone out there, they will have a job the next day, a couple days later. I just want them to know I still believe in them. I want them to go out and erase two months and go get it from now."
Guillen made another point abundantly clear. When his team sits last in the AL with a .240 average and third from the bottom with a 4.75 ERA entering Thursday, it pretty much gets what it deserves in regard to the negative results.
The meeting ended with Guillen suggesting how maybe the issue is not in the clubhouse but instead in the coach's room, including the manager's office.
"You are a good manager or a good coach if you [get] the best out of your players. I told them I'm not a good manager," Guillen said. "Why? Because I don't think I [get] the most out of them. If those guys don't think I don't do my stuff, I was open, they can talk to me about it ... what they don't like about us, what we can do better.
"Everything went normal, nobody said anything. It's like if you're a teacher. If you're teaching a class and all of the sudden 80 percent of your class doesn't pass, it's like, 'Am I teaching the right thing or doing the right thing?' That's the same way with me.
"We have time to recover. We still have time to gain some ground," Guillen said. "But I can't do it alone. I'll try to help. I want to let them know we have to attack people, we've got to pitch better. We haven't played the way we should be playing. And we know if we lose 100 games, I will continue to say this ballclub is better than what we show."
Teahen has surgery, out at least six weeks
CHICAGO -- Mark Teahen had pins inserted in the injured middle finger on his right hand Thursday and will be out a minimum of six weeks. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the platoon of Omar Vizquel and Jayson Nix will fill the third-base opening in Teahen's absence.
"If Teahen was hitting .390 and had 30 home runs and 120 RBIs, I would say, 'Hey [general manager] Kenny [Williams], please [help],'" Guillen said. "I think Vizquel is swinging the bat well right now. He will play third base good enough.
"To play defense, that's more important. The last three games, offensively we played good, we're just not pitching. I don't make that decision. That's a front-office decision. To lose one prospect for [for a player missing less than two months], there's no reason."
Teahen suffered the fracture while fielding an Evan Longoria ground ball in the third inning of Sunday's series-finale victory over the Rays. If the Major League options don't provide an adequate fill, the White Sox could dip down to Brent Morel at Triple-A Charlotte. Morel was just promoted to the Knights this week, but the third-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft has hit at every level and has been considered a Joe Crede-in-the-making defensively.
Top pick Mitchell optimistic about recovery
CHICAGO -- Outfielder Jared Mitchell, the White Sox top pick and 23rd player selected overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, has been watching a lot of baseball over the past two months. He would rather be playing, but a torn tendon on the inside of his left ankle suffered during a Cactus League contest in Tempe, Ariz., cost the five-tool talent that 2010 on-field opportunity.
"I guess you could say it was a little frustrating," said Mitchell during a Thursday conference call about the season-ending injury, which came after he made a positive impression during Spring Training and on the heels of his .296 effort over 115 at-bats at Class A Kannapolis last year. "I try not to let it bother me too much, because everything happens for a reason. I try not to worry how or why it happened, and just push forward to get better and get back."
Mitchell is rehabbing in Baton Rouge, La., and just started doing some lower body work this past week. He's done a lot of balance and strengthening exercises and runs on an underwater treadmill a couple of times per week.
Baseball activity won't resume for the 21-year-old until he starts running on flat surface. But Mitchell remains hopeful he will be ready for instructional league action and possibly to play in the Arizona Fall League. He also has been told the element of speed, which is important to his game, won't be hampered once he fully recovers.
"I'm fortunate to be in that situation," said Mitchell, who will be representing the White Sox at the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. "I'm ecstatic about coming back 100 percent. I'm going good, and I'm looking forward to progressing every day."
Ozzie not ruling out change at second
CHICAGO -- The White Sox started Jayson Nix at second base on Thursday, with Ozzie Guillen apparently giving Gordon Beckham a rest against a tough right-hander in Colby Lewis. But Guillen was a bit cryptic when asked if it marked just another one-day respite for Beckham, who has gone 95 at-bats without an extra-base hit and entered Thursday hitting .169 in his past 26 games.
"So far," Guillen said. "Nix starts hitting and has a couple hits there, then I'll play Nix. [I'm not saying] I'm going to bench [Beckham]. I'm just saying if someone performs better than him, I have no choice. I need to win some games."
White Sox give praise to 'The Kid'
CHICAGO -- In the wake of the retirement announcement made by Ken Griffey Jr. on Wednesday, the White Sox fondly remembered Griffey's two months spent on the South Side during the 2008 playoff season. Griffey will best be remembered for a perfect throw he made to nail Michael Cuddyer at the plate, allowing the White Sox to claim a 1-0 victory in the American League Central one-game playoff, known as The Blackout Game, at U.S. Cellular Field.
"From some of the rumors you hear, saying he's lazy and doesn't take BP and just kind of shows up when he wants to, I never experienced any of that," said White Sox starter Mark Buehrle. "He came over to a new team and fit in well. Everyone here can talk about how great a guy he was in the clubhouse."
"It was kind of cool to say you played with Ken Griffey Jr., one of the greatest players in the game," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.