Teahen close to return; vet Vizquel filling in ably
By Toni Ginnetti email@example.com May 16, 2011 10:28PM
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Edwin Jackson throws to the Texas Rangers in the first inning of a baseball game Monday, May 16, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/John Smierciak)
Updated: June 18, 2011 12:39AM
Omar Vizquel started at third base again Monday in place of Mark Teahen, but Teahen’s strained right oblique muscle is improving and he could return soon.
Teahen took batting practice Monday and will see how he feels today before a decision is made. Teahen suffered the injury Wednesday.
Manager Ozzie Guillen opted to stay with Vizquel, a switch hitter, against Texas Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis instead of right-handed hitting Brent Morel, even though Morel had a good road trip, going 7-for-18 (.389). Vizquel has been hot as well, running his hitting streak to five games Monday.
“Omar is doing what he’s supposed to be doing [as a backup],’’ Guillen said. “And now we have Morel to be with him and help. He’s playing so well we’re going to stick with him.
“I don’t see Omar playing every day at third base. It’s hard for him [at age 44], and it’s hard for us. This guy has been so good and you want to play him every day, but you can’t.’’
Guillen said he will start Morel today against Rangers lefty Matt Harrison.
Get on, Juan
Juan Pierre has been caught stealing eight times compared to six successful thefts. Yet Guillen is confident the veteran leadoff man will turn it around.
“If there’s one I believe and have a lot of faith he’ll come out of this, it’s Juan,” Guillen said. “Juan is a guy who is mentally tough all his career. It’s a struggle at the plate and on the bases. But he tries to put himself on the spot [telling himself] ‘I need to steal bases.’ I don’t need Juan to steal bases. I need Juan to be on base. That’s all I want Juan Pierre to do, get on base. Don’t try to steal 70 or 80. Maybe he can’t anymore. Just make sure you get one base. Then good things are going to happen.’’
Six for now
The six-man rotation is in for now, although as the schedule goes on, the plan is to “shrink it down,’’ Guillen said.
The starters are coping, even though it leaves the bullpen a man short. Guillen said he won’t use Jake Peavy or Mark Buehrle “for sure’’ as emergency relievers.
Peavy, who will make his second start on Wednesday, said the longer rest is not a difficult adjustment because pitchers can throw an extra side session to stay ready. “I felt fine after my start [on Wednesday in Seattle]. Today [Monday] is my fourth day and I feel OK with two more days until I pitch,’’ he said.
The rotation focus might be more on lefty John Danks, who will seek his first victory today in his ninth start.
“He’s fine,’’ Guillen said of Danks, who is 0-6 despite several good outings. “I don’t think John Danks is a mental problem. He just goes out there and he brings the best bullets he’s got that day and competes. His last outing was very bad. The five before that, very good. We just didn’t help him.’’
Peavy said the staff veterans are there for Danks to lean on if he needs it.
“We like to keep him positive, but Johnny’s awesome,’’ Peavy said. “He’s a strong kid and mentally tough. He’ll be fine.’’