CHICAGO -- The reason Chris Sale prepared himself as a starter this offseason was not necessarily because he is expected to be inserted into the 2011 starting rotation. General manager Ken Williams simply didn't want Sale to break from the usual routine he employed over the past few years at this formative stage of his career.
"If you now try to have him do something he's not used to doing, you might not get the guy you just saw the last half of the season," Williams said. "I think it's important for him to always prepare -- for all guys, not just him -- as they always have to get the most out of him.
"As we are currently set up, it's my feeling he ultimately will be in the bullpen. We won't have that need, at least no longer than 30 days, if we have it at all. But to have him prepare as a reliever and take away one or two of his pitches because that's what guys tend to do, I don't think it's wise."
Williams also doesn't believe Sale would be hampered by moving back and forth between starter and reliever in the same season.
"When you can do it, you can do it," Williams said. "He's shown he can do it. Leave him alone."
White Sox still cautious about Peavy's recovery
CHICAGO -- Kenny Williams received a text from Jake Peavy earlier this week, and he has yet to respond.
It's not that the White Sox general manager is ignoring the right-hander or received bad news from Peavy -- quite the contrary. Peavy basically told his boss about being on the right track in his rehab from season-ending surgery to repair a detached latissimus dorsi muscle in his right posterior shoulder, so much so that he feels being ready for the start of the 2010 regular season is not out of the question.
Now, Williams is trying to figure out how to be cautious without dampening Peavy's enthusiasm.
"He's very optimistic and he's very positive, and we are going to be very judicious in how we formulate a plan for him," Williams said prior to Friday's start of SoxFest '11 at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago. "He's going to absolutely have to prove he's healthy and ready to go out.
"We want a full and healthy season, not only for Chicago, the White Sox this year, but for next year's White Sox -- and I don't know how many years are left on his contract. He had a good [contract], a real good one."
Peavy is signed through 2012, with a club option for 2013. Williams does not believe he will be out of action past the season's first month, meaning a replacement fifth starter will only be needed for three or four starts.
Tony Pena does not stand as a candidate in Williams' mind, as the general manager wants Pena to get into a bullpen rhythm. Chris Sale also appears as if he's headed to the bullpen, giving the White Sox a relief balance of three southpaws and three right-handers. The fifth starter's door might then be open for Phil Humber or Lucas Harrell, unless Peavy can convince the White Sox otherwise.
"Jake, when he's healthy, is a true ace," said starter John Danks. "Just the little bit I've talked to him, it sounds like he's doing really well. He's throwing and is getting back. The sooner the better, because a healthy Jake is a huge boost."
'Cuban Tank' maneuvers to Chicago's outfield
CHICAGO -- Dayan Viciedo, dubbed the "Cuban Tank" by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, has not seen the last of his days on the infield at third base and first base. But he did begin working in the outfield in Miami at "Camp Cora," the unofficial workout sessions run by bench coach Joey Cora for White Sox players a few weeks ago.
"He's been directed to work out there, work as much as possible so we can play him out there in the spring and see how he can do," said White Sox general manager Ken Williams. "From what I understand, he's done very well so far.
"You guys saw the way the ball came off his bat last year. I think he has the potential to be very special and we have to find a place for him to play. But we get in a win mode from year to year. We try to put the best team out there, and now we have some long-term answers at those two places, so I'd like to find a place for him to play."
Guillen on the internet
Ozzie Guillen's website, ozzieguillen.com, is officially up and running. The White Sox manager is excited by the new outlet for all things related to him, which includes involvement from both the team and Major League Baseball.
"I'm very excited," Guillen said. "The website is pretty nice. I checked it out. They did a tremendous job. It's not going to be any different. I never tweet with the White Sox. I never tweet, 'Carlos Quentin never hit.' But it's going to be exciting."
Third to first
Even with the best outfield defense in the organization at Williams' disposal, don't look for Jordan Danks to break camp with the White Sox out of Spring Training. "He's got too big of a future to put him in a limited role," the GM said. "So probably not." ... The White Sox are confident in their chances to win the American League Central, but they certainly won't give the Twins or Tigers early bulletin board fodder by making bold January predictions. "We can compete for the division," said White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle. "But I'm not saying we will win it. On paper, I like our chances."