06/27/09 9:51 PM ET
Podsednik enjoying renaissance with Sox
Outfielder goes 4-for-5 in latest sparkling contribution
By Jesse Temple / MLB.com
It was April 1, and Podsednik had just been released by the Colorado Rockies. He had hit .253 in 93 games with the Rockies in 2008, but the organization deemed the 33-year-old speedster to be expendable.
But one team's loss, as it happened, was another team's gain.
A familiar friend in White Sox general manager Kenny Williams called soon after. The organization had taken an interest in Podsednik, who made the All-Star team in 2005 with the South Siders and helped guide them to a World Series title that year.
So on April 14, they signed Podsednik to a Minor League deal and gave him a shot to revive his career.
He hasn't just revived his career in a small period of time. He has reinvented it.
Further proof of Podsednik's rejuvenated play was on display during Saturday's thrilling, 8-7 comeback victory against the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field. Podsednik smacked four hits around the ballpark, matching a career high.
He last accomplished the feat on May 25 against the Angels and has done so 10 times during his nine-year Major League career.
Podsednik doubled in the first, singled in the second, homered to tie the game at 3 in the fifth and singled again in the sixth. He upped his season average to .319 with a 4-for-5 showing and also finished with two runs scored and three RBIs.
"People have 4-for-4, but that's a big one," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He got big RBIs, scored a couple runs and got things going for us. I think the home run got us back in the game. Pods with the White Sox this year has been playing great."
Podsednik joined the big league club less than three weeks after signing with the team, on May 1. In that game, he tallied two hits and produced three more multi-hit games before becoming the team's permanent leadoff hitter on May 16.
Over his last 31 games, Podsednik has shined in his leadoff role. During that span, he is hitting .346 (47-for-136) with six doubles, one triple, three home runs, 17 RBIs and 20 runs scored.
Podsednik said part of his recent renaissance stems from a revamped swing, which includes creeping up in the batter's box to get a head start on base hits.
"I've wanted to use my ability to run more," Podsednik said. "I felt like I was leaving some hits out there on the table by not using my ability to run, so I created some movement in the box that allows me to get down the line quicker and has allowed me to make some things happen."
White Sox first baseman and team captain Paul Konerko was with the team during Podsednik's last stint as a member of the White Sox from 2005-07, when Podsednik's highest single-season average was .290 in '05.
Konerko, a 13-year big league veteran, knows just how lucky the White Sox organization is to have Podsednik on its side once more.
"He's swinging the bat as good as we've ever seen him, even when he was here in '05 and '06," Konerko said. "He's really pulling the ball well. Just hitting for the situation. If there's nobody on, he can hurt you now with some doubles and homers. It's great to see.
"He went to Spring Training with the Rockies, so we'll take it. He wasn't with us to start off, so that was a great pickup by us. We know he's a gamer. We know that from when he was here. He's making the most of a second chance with us."
Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.