Sox turn to Anderson, then find place for Pods
While waiting patiently for a leadoff man to emerge during spring training, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen often pined for the good old days when Scott Podsednik flourished in the key role.
That was back in 2005, and Podsednik was a disruptive force at the top of the lineup while sparking the Sox to a World Series championship.
Four years later, the 33-year-old Podsednik is back in the White Sox' system after signing a minor-league contract.
"It's a good acquisition," manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters Tuesday afternoon after the Sox' game in Detroit against the Tigers was rained out.
Podsednik, released by the Colorado Rockies at the end of spring training, is expected to report to Class AAA Charlotte and play center field.
That was Podsednik's position with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003-04, but he was shifted to left field after coming over to the White Sox in the Carlos Lee trade.
The Sox released the injury-prone Podsednik following the 2007 season. Last year, Podsednik played in 93 games with the Rockies and batted .253 with 12 stolen bases.
In 2005, Podsednik batted .290 with the Sox and stole 59 bases, the second-highest total in franchise history behind Rudy Law (77 in 1983).
Why are the White Sox taking another chance on Podsednik?
In Monday's win over the Tigers, Dewayne Wise suffered a Grade 3 right shoulder separation after making a standout running catch. Wise, sent back to Chicago for more tests, is on the disabled list.
"I don't expect him back to maybe June," Guillen said. "Hopefully June. It's unfortunate because this guy plays so hard and made the team out of spring training. He struggled, and then all of a sudden everything went back to normal and this happens."
Jerry Owens - placed on waivers following a disappointing showing in spring training - had his contract purchased and was brought up for Charlotte to replace Wise.
Podsednik takes Owens' spot at Triple-A and is just a phone call away.
"(Podsednik) is going to play center field there just in case we need him here," Guillen said. "It's good news. I think a lot of his (old) teammates wanted it. We'll see what happens."
Ideally for the Sox, Brian Anderson takes over regular duty in center field and plays well, with Owens filling the reserve role.
"Brian Anderson's going to dictate how much he's going to play," Guillen said.
Anderson replaced the injured Wise on Monday and walked twice and stole two bases.
"I don't expect Brian to hit .350," Guillen said. "A lot of people forget we gave Brian an opportunity to play (in 2006). I think now Brian is mature and a better player. He's got an opportunity now, and we'll see how he handles it."