09/08/08 7:45 PM ET
White Sox-Blue Jays opener rained out
Game to be made up as part of day-night twin bill on Tuesday
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Some players were taking part in the various daily card games as they waited for an official decision on the series opener between the American League Central leaders and the red-hot Blue Jays. Others read books or magazines, with the good-natured bantering going on in the background of a clubhouse never short on entertainment.
Nick Swisher sat comfortably in his chair, wearing sweats, and preparing to take a nap if the anticipated rain delay lasted a couple of hours.
"But when it's go time, we will be ready," said Swisher with a smile.
"Go" time won't be until Tuesday afternoon for Swisher and his teammates, as Monday's game was postponed due to rain. Under the watchful eye of head groundskeeper Roger Bossard, one of the best in the business, the White Sox usually look for a precipitation-free window to squeeze in the contest.
Monday's forecast called for rain up until midnight, with no break in sight. Rather than wait out the storm or burn a starting pitcher for an inning or two if the rain let up, the game was called two hours before the first pitch.
Javier Vazquez (11-12) will get the nod in Tuesday's day portion of this split doubleheader, starting at 1:05 p.m. CT. A.J. Burnett (16-10) will take the mound for the Blue Jays (76-66). White Sox rookie Clayton Richard (2-3) and Jesse Litsch (10-8), coming off a 115-pitch shutout of the Twins, match up in the regularly scheduled nightcap at 7:11 p.m. CT.
This rainout puts the White Sox (80-62) in a bit of a pitching quandary when Vazquez's rotation turn comes up again on Saturday afternoon against the Tigers. Although the White Sox have tried to keep their top four starters on regular four days' rest, Vazquez could come back one day early.
"If you're going to ask me four days from now what we're going to do, we're not sure yet," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "We'll see how [Tuesday] goes.
"Our options are bringing Clayton Richard back or Javy back. Another option might be thinking about going with [Lance] Broadway. [We] might even think about [D.J.] Carrasco. But we're not going to really discuss or think about it until after we play the games [on Tuesday].
"You know what? You just can't look that far ahead," Cooper added. "We have to win a couple games [Tuesday]. That's where our focus is at. That's why we're keeping the rotation the way it was. We'll figure it out how it goes. First we have to see what happens in those games before we have a criteria to make our pick for the 13th."
Although Cooper was playfully kidded by the media concerning a possible Saturday start for Aaron Poreda, the team's top pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Cooper made it clear that was a decision for general manager Ken Williams and that the pitching options almost certainly were going to come from the active roster.
"I'm not sure what's out of the range of possibility," said Cooper with a laugh. "I'm thinking of the guys on hand."
Tickets remain for both games Tuesday. Fans should retain their tickets and parking for Monday's postponed contest and use them for Tuesday's first game. Fans also may exchange Monday's tickets for Upper Level tickets to any of the White Sox remaining home games this week, excluding Friday's game against the Tigers (subject to availability).
All exchanges should be made at the U.S. Cellular Field box office. For those considering checking out the White Sox the rest of the week, the forecast looks clear through Friday.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.