DETROIT -- Alejandro De Aza not only has hit .299 over 87 at-bats since joining the White Sox but also has shown some extra-base power. The left-handed-hitting outfielder launched his fourth home run during Saturday's gut-wrenching 9-8 loss to the Tigers, to go with five doubles and two triples.
His speed could make De Aza an attractive leadoff candidate if free-agent-to-be Juan Pierre is not brought back and additional changes are made in the outfield. Sporting a .322 average at Triple-A Charlotte, De Aza looks to be more than a short-term success story.
"We always liked his swing. And his talent," said White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker. "This isn't a fluke. He's pretty good and solid."
Quentin progressing with sprained shoulder
DETROIT -- Carlos Quentin reported progress made Sunday with his sprained left shoulder, suffered while making a diving, first-inning catch in a victory over Texas on Aug. 20.
That progress isn't nearly sufficient enough, though, to have Quentin ready to play on Monday at Target Field when he's eligible to come off the disabled list. And Quentin won't put any projections on a potential return.
"I'm not going to get into predictions right now," said Quentin, who has limited his hitting to just taking flips. "It was a lot better today swinging-wise, which gives me a lot of hope to build from. Game-ready is seeing pitches and things like that. I'm not getting [that] yet, but it was a lot better swing-wise."
Manager Ozzie Guillen made it clear that he certainly won't rush Quentin and put him at any sort of risk for further injury. There's no talk about shutting down Quentin, even if the White Sox fall completely off the pace set by Detroit.
"We haven't even talked about that," Quentin said. "The focus has been on getting it back. It was a positive day in that direction as opposed to a couple days back when the swing wasn't there at all. Today was a lot better."
Ozzie firmly behind his coaching staff
DETROIT -- When asked for seemingly the fifth straight pregame media session about his desire to stay in Chicago, Ozzie Guillen came up with one of his most definitive answers to date.
"Two-thousand percent," said Guillen, when asked to rate the strength of his conviction to return. "That's the talk about dinner, lunch, sleep everything. This is the talk with my family. And we never change one bit. All my time, my desire, everything has been Chicago.
"See this White Sox logo. I'm part of that. I wish I could be in the Hall of Fame one time, so I could wear this freaking uniform. That's how much I love this organization."
Guillen also was asked how we would handle a situation where White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf gave him a desired contract extension, but also asked for changes to be made on his coaching staff moving into 2012. All of Guillen's coaches are operating in the last year of respective deals.
That question caused Guillen to pause for a moment. And it apparently would cause the White Sox manager to have a conversation with the man in charge.
"I'd say, 'Wow, we got to talk about it, because I feel comfortable with our coaching staff,'" Guillen said. "Coaches don't win games. They help players, but they don't win games. I've got the greatest coaches for me. I've got very good coaches."
Although Guillen laid the blame for this underachieving season on himself and the coaches, he said that the same staff and same team could produce a 2012 winner without making many changes.
Lillibridge not forgetting infielder's glove
DETROIT -- Brent Lillibridge has shown unexpected power this season with 13 homers, not to mention adeptly handling the defensive challenges of first base during the first 18 games there of his career.
His outfield play already has been extolled by manager Ozzie Guillen. But the veteran utility player doesn't want his middle-infield ability to be forgotten either, although he has only played six games at second base during the present campaign.
"I don't think I've lost it," said Lillibridge of his ability to play second or shortstop, which he has done through 88 games over his four-year career. "The biggest thing is making sure everyone remembers what I came up as and what I was touted as, a defensive middle infielder, before I could even do anything else."
Guillen talks up Lillibridge as his best defensive outfielder, having made a handful of game-saving or game-changing catches this season. The White Sox manager also has said that Lillibridge originally was miscast as an infielder.
But adding consistent infield play to his resume gives Lillibridge another option in his pursuit of more regular playing time. With his duties falling at first and in the outfield, Lillibridge hasn't spent much time on the infield during batting practice. He's also behind defensive gems at second and shortstop in Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez, not to mention 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel as the utility backup.
If called upon at second or shortstop, though, Lillibridge knows he can get the job done.
"I'm ready for that stuff, if something else comes up or someone gets hurt, I'll be out there and I'll adjust like I have all year," Lillibridge said. "I love to play in the infield. I feel like I still have the range and the arm to be able to do it.
"As long as I hit, I'm going to have a chance to play anywhere. So as long as I can play and start every single day, that's the goal, whatever position it is, middle infield or the outfield."
Third to first
Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, the White Sox television play-by-play voice and organization icon, celebrated his 70th birthday on Sunday. Manager Ozzie Guillen said that Adam Dunn will get some action during the four-game Minnesota series. Entering Sunday, Dunn had five at-bats over his last eight games. Mark Buehrle had his shortest outing of the season (3 1/3 innings) and most runs allowed (eight total, seven earned) during Sunday's 18-2 loss to the Tigers. Guillen denied the idea of Dunn being tossed around as a possible pitcher in Sunday's blowout, as suggested on ESPN's broadcast. "The worst thing that goes through any manager or coach, when you see a position player on the mound," Guillen said.