MINNEAPOLIS -- During the course of Mark Kotsay's accomplished 14-year Major League career, the outfielder/first baseman/designated hitter has been traded five times.
From Florida to San Diego in March 2001. From San Diego to Oakland in September 2003. From Oakland to Atlanta in January 2008. From Atlanta to Boston in August 2008, and from Boston to the White Sox on July 28, 2009.
Kotsay knows what it's like to be the player coveted in deals.
He also understands the concept of being the player whose on-field time gets cut into if players such as Washington's Adam Dunn or Milwaukee's Prince Fielder go from speculation to making their way to the South Side of Chicago before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Regardless of the specific role played out in the overall situation, one of the steadying veteran forces in the White Sox clubhouse never lets the rumor mill alter his approach.
"You just focus on what you have to do while you are here," Kotsay said. "If you make yourself aware of what's going on from that standpoint, you will lose your focus.
"It can be tough when you are young. And if you have a foundation and have been with one organization your entire career, that's more difficult than if you have been traded and experience what it feels like to leave the clubhouse and a group of guys you've been with your whole career. It's part of the game and the reality is at this point in the season, there is a lot of talk about things. Just focus on what you have to do."
Following a hitless effort in Sunday's 7-6 loss at Target Field, Kotsay's average sits at .231. He was hitting below the Mendoza Line, at .197, as recently as June 8, which happens to coincide with the start of the team's amazing 26-5 run. The lifetime .280 hitter joins Gordon Beckham, A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin on the list of talented White Sox contributors on offense who didn't achieve what they wanted in the season's first half.
An organizational hope is that this group can provide the American League Central leaders a trade-like boost of energy at the plate without giving up top prospects in an acquisition.
"Obviously, when you have career numbers and get off to the start some of us did in here, you realize at some point, it's got to turn," said Kotsay, hitting .342 in his last 11 games. "We are not where we want to be. But we will hopefully be there at the end and look up and forget about what took place in April and May and realize in September, down the stretch, we have a chance to win."
Hudson's demotion caught on tape
MINNEAPOLIS -- As one of the final few players on the roster bubble, the end of Spring Training can become a nail-biting, no-sleeping sort of time. Now, take the worst possible news, a reassignment to the Minors instead of breaking camp with the team, add in a television camera or two and a boom microphone, and a tough day suddenly borders on nightmarish.
That exact scenario played out for Daniel Hudson, whose Spring Training demotion as delivered by general manager Ken Williams, manager Ozzie Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper stands as part of Sunday's 8 p.m. CT premier of "The Club." This MLB Network original reality series focuses on the life and times of the White Sox front office.
Hudson had one of the best springs of any White Sox pitcher but was sent to Triple-A Charlotte because the team wanted to keep him on regular five-day schedule and prepared in case he was needed in the starting rotation. That need came about when Jake Peavy's season ended due to a detached latissimus dorsi muscle suffered in his posterior right shoulder.
As for Hudson's moment being caught on tape, the right-hander actually is looking forward to seeing its portrayal. After all, Hudson did all he could to earn his spot on the pitching staff.
"I told everyone at home to watch it because I'm getting sent down on national television," said Hudson with a laugh. "Even if I was still pitching in Triple-A, I would be looking forward to it. I wanted to see if I looked like a deer in the headlight."
"It's not like I had a bad spring. They said some nice things to me."
Before Hudson entered Guillen's Camelback Ranch office in late March, he was informed of the cameras' presence.
"They warned me, but it was still weird with the camera there and the mic over my head," Hudson said. "It was kind of funny but not bad."
Putz warms up with the weather
MINNEAPOLIS -- Credit warmer temperatures, in part, for J.J. Putz's present run at White Sox franchise history and getting his pitching arm quickly beyond par coming off last season's elbow surgery.
"As the temperature got a bit warmer, things started to feel a bit better," said Putz, whose 24th straight scoreless appearance on Sunday tied Shingo Takatsu's 2004 club record of 24. "Early on, even going out and trying to play long toss was a struggle.
"It was achy with the cold weather. But as the weather kind of broke, Matt [Thornton] and I really we were able to stretch it out and play long toss and build a lot more arm strength."
Putz, who makes a triumphant return to where his career started during this next three-game set in Seattle, has limited opponents to a .141 average in his streak covering 24 2/3 innings. He has recorded 26 strikeouts and walked three, lowering his ERA to 1.51, but doesn't pay much attention to the run.
"I'm just trying to be efficient and get quick outs," Putz said. "Let the defense work."
No fear in the pennant race for Guillen's crew
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ozzie Guillen doesn't mind nervousness from his charges in what promises to be another three-team American League Central battle down to the 2010 season's final weeks.
The White Sox manager just won't abide by individuals playing scared.
"Whoever is scared, believe me, he's not going to be here," Guillen said. "He might be on the ballclub, but he's not going to be on the field. This is my job and when they ask me why not I'm playing, it's because I think you are scared. I'm too honest, that's my weakness.
"They enjoy this right now. Where they were two months ago, they better enjoy this moment and feel proud and then finish it off. Don't think about having a great June. It's over with. Take it one day at a time and hopefully the best thing is coming up."
Third to first
Carlos Quentin left Sunday's game in the sixth inning with a bruised right hand, suffered on a successful steal of third base. The right fielder said he was day-to-day after the team's 7-6 loss. ... In the past five games, Gordon Beckham's average has gone from .208 to .237. He has 12 hits in his last 18 at-bats. ... Omar Vizquel's two hits on Sunday put him second among active players in hits against the Twins with 217, trailing only Detroit's Magglio Ordonez at 230. Vizquel also moved past Al Oliver for sole possession of 51st on baseball's all-time hit list with 2,744.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.