06/03/10 1:18 AM ET
White Sox hurlers prepare to hit
By Louie Horvath / MLB.com
Jake Peavy's locker contained a black bat with a white handle. Mark Buehrle showed up and got dressed earlier than usual, preparing to get in his knocks.
White Sox pitchers began taking batting practice on Tuesday, so they will be prepared for visits to National League ballparks as part Interleague Play. The White Sox will begin a string of nine games in NL parks on May 11, when they open a three-game series against the Cubs.
But don't expect any White Sox relievers to get at-bats. Manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters that he has no plans to allow relievers to bat and is not allowing them to take batting practice.
Not even Sergio Santos, who was a highly touted prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks' system before transitioning to pitcher. Santos recently began campaigning Guillen for a spot at-bat or two in an Interleague game.
"Santos wants to hit," Guillen said. "I said, 'Santos, you already had your chance, and the reason you're pitching is because you can't hit. So why do you want to hit so bad?'"
Peavy, who spent six years in the National League with the San Diego Padres, totes a career average of .180.
"I think, when you [face] the National League, and you're a starter, [batting practice] is only going to help you," Guillen said. "The more important thing for me is just to make sure they know how to bunt, move the guy over. In the past, we've been very good about it, but they're good athletes. They swing the bat well, but they don't get paid to hit."
Vizquel, Nix to platoon in place of Teahen
CHICAGO -- When Mark Teahen was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen announced that there would be a platoon at third base between Omar Vizquel and Jayson Nix.
When asked about it before the game on Wednesday, Guillen clarified the arrangement.
"You could call it a platoon," Guillen said. "With lefties, I'm pretty sure I'm going to use Nix there. Obviously he's a better right-handed hitter than Vizquel, even though Vizquel has got like 2,000 hits more than him right-handed. But I think that's what we're going to go right now.
Vizquel started the first two games following Teahen's injury, both against right-handers, going 3-for-8.
"If you're a backup player in the American League," Guillen said. "You can't expect much out of the players because they don't play for so long, only got three at-bats here, one every other week. But we play Vizquel back-to-back and I think it's worked out pretty well."
Vizquel, who has won 11 Gold Gloves for his play at shortstop, managed to catch the eye of the opposing dugout with his fielding.
"I couldn't tell whether he was at third or short the way he was fielding the baseball," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The boy can dance out there on defense no matter where he is. He is the best when it comes to defense."
Jenks available to close for White Sox
CHICAGO -- After declaring himself healthy for Tuesday's game and being overruled by manager Ozzie Guillen, Bobby Jenks is finally fit to return in his role as the closer for the White Sox. Jenks threw a scoreless inning in the White Sox 9-5 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday.
"I talked to Bobby Jenks today, yes," Guillen said. "Hopefully, that's the last time Bobby goes through [injury troubles], but in the meanwhile, I can not worry about putting him in a save situation tonight."
"Bobby's our closer," Guillen added.
Guillen's statement put to rest any speculation about whether Jenks would continue to be called upon to close out games for the South Siders.
Matt Thornton will regain his position as a left-handed setup guy, tasked with pitching the eighth inning or earlier, if a tough left handed batter happens to come up.
"I don't care how well Thornton is throwing the ball. The reason we used him [on May 28] was because Bobby was down. You look at Texas' team, they only have two lefties. I have to go with Bobby. If they go with lefties, I might take a chance with Thornton. Right now, the way we play, we have to do everything to win the game."
Jenks elaborated on the nature of his injury, which was unrelated to the right thigh ailments that plagued him during the past few seasons.
"It's just a little different, because there was no pop like the previous one," Jenks said. "So this is more frustrating than anything. Before, I went out there and felt it. This is more of a cramp that wouldn't release."
Guillen defends use of starters
CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen addressed speculation on Wednesday that he might be leaving his starting pitchers in games for too long.
"It's a funny thing about this game," Guillen said. "Last outing, [Mark] Buehrle had 50 pitches to get through seven innings. Yesterday, he got 35 in one. It's something you can't control. I always put my players in the best position as a starter to get a win."
"I am going to give them the best shot to win the game. That's the way I do my stuff, and that's the way I'll continue to that, so that those five guys there will continue to pitch for me."
Guillen was forced to go to his bullpen early on Wednesday, when Gavin Floyd was chased with two outs in the third inning.
In the past nine games, White Sox relievers have thrown 33 1/3 innings, a vast departure from their usual workload this season.
The White Sox bullpen entered Wednesday's game with 142 1/3 innings on the year, which ranked them in the middle of the pack among American League ballclubs.
Louie Horvath is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.