6/29/2013 10:30 P.M. ET
Wells enjoys pitching debut
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- When Casper Wells went down to the bullpen on Friday evening to warm up for his Major League pitching debut, bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen looked at him and asked, "What do you got?"
Thigpen was surprised when the outfielder started listing off his pitches. He was not surprised that Wells had those pitches, but more surprised that Wells was getting ready to throw and not just delivering a message to the bullpen.
"I didn't really have too much time to ... think about it," Wells said. "I tried to take it as seriously as I could. I didn't want to walk anyone. I wanted to go out there and be efficient, and just kind of throw strikes and really see what happens.
"I've had experience pitching in my lifetime. The last time I pitched off the mound was probably eight years ago, when I was at Towson University. But it was cool. It was fun. I tried to have fun with it and still stay competitive."
Wells posted an 8-5 collegiate record with a 5.61 ERA over 35 games during three years at Towson. He hit as high as 93 mph with his fastball according to MLB.com Gameday and struck out Asdrubal Cabrera as part of a scoreless ninth during Cleveland's 19-10 Game 1 victory.
That pitching outing was the first by a White Sox position player since Dewayne Wise threw a scoreless frame on Sept. 4, 2012, during an 18-9 loss to the Twins. Wells was also cognizant of not overthrowing and hitting someone in the process.
"There was one I tried throwing kind of hard and came up and in a little on Drew Stubbs. And I was like, 'That's the last thing I want to do is hit someone,'" Wells said. "It's nice that I had lefties, so I don't have to worry about yanking one.
"Just from my hitting experience, I know that a moving ball is harder to hit than something thrown straight. So, I just was throwing all two-seamers. Just trying to throw it [down the] middle and let the movement work. See what happens."
Dave Martinez, Steve Lyons, Mike Squires and Wayne Nordhagen are the other four position players to have pitched for the White Sox. According to Elias, Wells became the first player since Minnesota's Dan Gladden on May 7, 1989, to pitch in one game of a doubleheader and start the other game in the field.
Konerko not thinking about trade talk
CHICAGO -- With 15 years as a White Sox staple on his impressive resume, team captain Paul Konerko won't be traded anywhere over the next few weeks or months without his consent under Major League Baseball's 10-and-5 rule.
The high level of respect held by the organization for Konerko also factors into any possible move.
But the veteran leader, who has missed the past four games due to back pain, isn't giving much thought to that switch to a contender.
"I'm not going to get into that," said Konerko, when asked for his thoughts about consenting to a trade. "I'm just trying to get back on the field. I don't know many teams that are going to want a guy who can't play. Until I get back out there and start doing some things, that's off in the distance.
"My goal is to get this going here and try in the next three, four weeks until they have to make those decisions on everybody in here -- and let's see if we can get good and see what happens. I don't have any answers, right now."
Konerko swung the bat on Saturday, which is a far cry from being unable to even stand up straight at the beginning of this week. While manager Robin Ventura doesn't expect Konerko in the lineup this weekend against the Indians, he could see him back by Tuesday against the Orioles and avoiding the disabled list.
"There was no sharp pain or anything making me afraid to take a swing," Konerko said. "I was a little stiff and heavy, but obviously I hadn't picked up a bat since Sunday.
"You always feel a little awkward not touching a bat in five days. It wasn't a stellar performance or anything, but enough to where I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. My hope is tomorrow I come in and it moves as much as it did from yesterday to today and go get 'em tomorrow. And if, for some reason, I can't go tomorrow, I can't see how I wouldn't be ready Tuesday -- especially with the off-day [on] Monday."
As for the team's season-long struggles leading to a plethora of moves by general manager Rick Hahn, Konerko believes those moves won't happen immediately -- and there might not be as many as people imagine. He also knows that the players will have a handle on what happens, regardless of the team's direction.
"This isn't life-ending or life-threatening situations," Konerko said. "You go out there and give it everything you got. But, at the end of the day, all you can do is your best.
"No one is happy in here. This is not part of the plan. There's no other way to say it."
Viciedo fighting through tough stretch
CHICAGO -- Dayan Viciedo is dealing with one of the worst stretches of his Major League career, made a little tougher in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader when he slowed down around third with two outs in the eighth inning as he tried to score from second on Jeff Keppinger's single. Viciedo was thrown out, moving into more of a jog after he saw third-base coach Joe McEwing throw up a stop sign, and did not start the nightcap because of that miscue according to manager Robin Ventura.
But Viciedo was back in action for Saturday's contest.
"It's not [like] you're in the doghouse forever," Ventura said. "He knows. It's just one of those [plays where] you run hard. If it's in play, you run as hard as you can.
"There are very few times in the game, where not running hard [is fine] -- if you walk, I don't expect you to sprint down there. But other than that, if it's in play, you gotta give [McEwing] a chance to send you."
Viciedo has one homer and 11 RBIs since May 16, covering a span of 37 games. He also is hitting just .167 in his last 27 games heading into Saturday.
Struggles such as these would make any young player a candidate to be sent to the Minors. But Ventura knows Viciedo's full capabilities and is banking on those eventually shining through.
"You see the potential for him to be able to make it through and be a very good player," Ventura said. "Right now, I don't necessarily see [Viciedo being optioned]. But any time you're dealing with what you're going through, it's there for pretty much anybody."
"There's so many of us going through a bad stretch right now, and that's what I think it is. It's a bad stretch," said Viciedo through translator and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. "You hate to call it luck, but we've worked hard. It's just been a really bad stretch."
Viciedo gained a measure of redemption on Saturday, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and making two diving catches.
White Sox recall Castro from Triple-A
CHICAGO -- It was 3:30 in the morning on Saturday when Simon Castro got the call that he was joining the White Sox.
And where was the big right-handed pitcher at the time?
"I was in bed," said Castro, drawing laughs from the media.
Castro was in bed in Louisville, where Triple-A Charlotte was playing. He is now replacing Brian Omogrosso as the White Sox long reliever. Omogrosso threw 2 1/3 innings during the Game 1 loss to Cleveland on Friday before being optioned to Charlotte.
Only eight of Castro's 142 career Minor League appearances have come in relief. But he's ready for whatever role the White Sox have in mind.
"The goal was to get here, and I'm right here," said Castro, who made four of his 16 appearances in relief for Charlotte this season. "So that's what matters to me, right now. I just want to do the best I can here ... and help this club."
Third to first
• The legendary Billy Pierce, 86, who won 186 games over 13 years with the White Sox, was honored for his career on the South Side prior to Saturday's game. Pierce threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches and the first 20,000 fans in attendance received a Billy Pierce statue. Pierce still works for the team as a community relations representative and ranks fourth all-time on the franchise win list.
• Alexei Ramirez is the only player in the Majors who has played every inning this season. Since the start of the 2009 season, Ramirez leads all Major League shortstops in games played (695) and innings played (6,139 2/3) after play on Saturday.
• Conor Gillaspie and his wife, Amanda, welcomed a son into the world this week. It's the first child for the two, with Gillaspie returning from the Paternity Leave List for Friday's doubleheader loss.
• White Sox pitchers allowed 28 runs in Friday's doubleheader loss to the Indians, compared to 27 total runs allowed in their previous seven home games.
• Erik Johnson picked up his first victory with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday, yielding two runs on four hits over seven innings at Louisville, while striking out seven. The right-hander has a 2.08 ERA over two starts for Charlotte after being promoted from Double-A Birmingham on June 22.