08/04/10 11:01 PM ET
Guillen praises A-Rod's achievement
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
"Awesome. Wow. A lot of people were taking notes how many at-bats without a home run," Guillen said. "Baseball needs people out there making good things about this game. To me, he's one of the best players, top three or four, ever in the history of the game.
"I'm very happy for him. He represents baseball. He made a mistake one time, and that's part of the game.
"Six hundred home runs? That's pretty amazing. So young, too. He's lucky he didn't go through any injuries. You have to be lucky and be blessed by God to give you the talent and prevent you from injuries. The only way you put up those numbers is if you play every day. No doubt."
Guillen supports keeping Kotsay at DH
DETROIT -- Mark Kotsay's .215 average following his 1-for-3 showing in Wednesday's 4-1 White Sox victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park doesn't accurately reflect the authority with which the veteran has consistently hit the baseball this year.
Dayan Viciedo's .328 mark in just 67 at-bats with the White Sox certainly doesn't completely depict the force the young right-handed hitter appears to be with the bat. Despite the disparity in numbers, though, manager Ozzie Guillen plans on continuing to go with Kotsay in the regular designated-hitter role.
"Having a lefty in the middle of the lineup right now for us is good for a different reason," said Guillen, pointing out how Kotsay breaks up a right-handed-dominant middle of the order. "Personally, the numbers out there for Kotsay [are not what] he deserves.
"You can ask his teammates, you can ask [hitting coach] Greg Walker. He should have better numbers than what he has. He went through tough times with people making plays on him. That happens all year long. I'm not making an excuse. He swings the bat good. He's hitting tough luck from the beginning."
Guillen's support of Kotsay doesn't mean Viciedo will be held down to late-inning pinch-hit situations or only limited playing time when the game is out of reach. The plan is to start Viciedo in Thursday afternoon's series finale vs. the Tigers, and the White Sox manager wants to tie Viciedo more with 43-year-old Omar Vizquel at third base so as not to wear down the veteran.
"My job is to put the players in the best position I can to have success," said Guillen, who is cognizant of not playing Vizquel too much in the heat of Baltimore this weekend. "That's what I like to do most of the time. But I'm not afraid to play [Viciedo]."
Walker admits Viciedo's current situation is not ideal for the 21-year-old, but he believes he can handle the role for as long as needed.
"When he came to us, you saw his physical ability immediately," said Walker of Viciedo. "There were a few things mechanically he did that had us concerned. He had too much body in his swing and was a max-effort guy. He has worked real hard, and our Minor League staff worked with him on a few of the things, so he's gotten better.
"He showed me a couple of things he wasn't doing anymore as soon as he got here. Overall, he has really improved mechanically and has a better approach to hitting. The sky is the limit for this kid."
Lillibridge demonstrates he needs to stay up
DETROIT -- When Mark Teahen returns from injury rehab on his broken right middle finger, which should be either this weekend in Baltimore or next week at home against Minnesota, Dayan Viciedo or Brent Lillibridge temporarily will return to Triple-A Charlotte.
Lillibridge is hitting .406 in 32 at-bats, with 13 RBIs and seven extra-base hits. He doesn't spend time thinking about the roster permutations, but he hopes he has done enough to stay with the White Sox.
"The worst-case scenario is, I go down for 15 days and come back up," Lillibridge said. "I hope my versatility and being a pinch-runner at least is an important part.
"Every winning team will have a bunch of key elements to be able to win, and I'm hoping to be here the rest of the season. We will see how it goes. I've proven myself and done what was asked of me. But in the end, you can't stress about it."
Lillibridge worked extensively with hitting coach Greg Walker during the offseason to refine his swing. He also pointed out how something clicked for him, in regard to being comfortable at the plate during his early-season stint with Triple-A Charlotte.
Floyd named AL Pitcher of Month for July
DETROIT -- Gavin Floyd was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for July. Floyd posted a Major League-best 0.89 ERA and a 3-1 record over five starts for the White Sox, while holding opposing hitters to a .228 average against. Floyd has a microscopic 1.06 ERA over his last 11 starts.
Matt Thornton has made 19 straight scoreless appearances, covering 15 1/3 innings. He currently falls eight appearances short of tying his good friend J.J. Putz's franchise record. "That's a long ways away. I'll worry about the next one I have out there," Thornton said. "Just put up another zero. That's all I care about." ... Juan Pierre has hit in 11 straight games. ... Alexei Ramirez's 10-game hitting streak came to an end on Wednesday. ... By virtue of Chris Sale, the White Sox top pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, now being the new guy in the bullpen, he gets custody of the light blue Little Mermaid backpack previously bestowed upon Sergio Santos.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.