Notes: Williams looking to improve
General manager ready to 'deal the hand' he's dealt with
CHICAGO -- With the non-waiver trade deadline still almost two months away, White Sox general manager Ken Williams already has shifted toward high gear in regard to improving his team.
But getting what you need and what you want as a team is not as easy as simply making a few phone calls, which Williams does on an almost daily basis.
"I'm a little less patient of a person than most," said Williams, during a 20-minute talk with the media before Monday's series opener against the Yankees. "But it's not as though you can pick up the telephone and ask for player A or B, and they'll say, 'OK, we'll send them right over to you.'
"It doesn't really work that way. This is real baseball, and, although I'd like it to be fantasy on some occasions -- it would be a heck of a lot easier to make moves -- that's not the case. You have to deal the hand you're dealt with to a degree."
That particular hand doesn't exactly look like four aces right now for the White Sox. And in Williams' estimation, the blame should be put squarely on his shoulders.
Despite the team's early season struggles on offense and the recent bullpen problems, Williams has no intention of beginning a possible free-agent dump for prospects sort of phase. As of Monday, if Williams finds a player outside his organization better than an option within, he would be looking more for a talent-for-talent sort of deal.
This type of trade would look something like the rumored transaction sending Jermaine Dye to New York and Bobby Abreu to the White Sox, although both Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen said there's nothing out there that excites them presently.
"You have to be very, very mindful when you have a team that you think is not playing up to its ability, and that they have a track record. You better be very careful not to pull the trigger too quickly," Williams said. "If you look, Minnesota's won two or three divisions by sticking with exactly what they've had and believing in it.
"If you've got talent and you've got ability, we've got over 100 ballgames left and we think that's ample opportunity to get our ship righted. But at the same point, when I'm not happy with something, it's just my nature to try and improve it."
Putting on a show: Guillen had only one major complaint in regard to Lou Piniella's on-field tirade Saturday at Wrigley Field, earning Piniella his first ejection as a Cubs manager.
"Before, Lou Piniella looked like [Diego] Maradona," said Guillen with a smile, referring to the famous soccer player. "[Saturday], he looked like Pele, a little slow.
"He took a little while to get to the hat. If you're a soccer player, you have to move a little quicker."
Guillen was a bit surprised by the four-game suspension handed down to Piniella. But he had no doubt Piniella would be able to ride out the tough times with the Cubs.
"Let Lou be Lou. He's going to be fun. He will take care of his team," Guillen said. "He will take care of his ballclub. What [do] you want him to say, 'We're good?'
"They're not playing well. He will say the way it is."
Fields of Dreams? Williams' weeklong tour of the White Sox Minor League system left him with positive impressions on top prospects ranging from pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Adam Russell and Gavin Floyd to position players such as Ryan Sweeney and Brian Anderson. But Josh Fields, the team's top pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, continues to look like the player featuring the greatest immediate impact.
"Ultimately, Josh Fields is going to be an All-Star," Williams said. "I think he's going to be a special player."
Fields, 24, entered Monday with a .279 average, 10 home runs, 36 RBIs and seven stolen bases for Triple-A Charlotte. The continued production from the Knights' third baseman could force the White Sox hand in finding a regular spot for him in the Majors.
"The short answer to that question is he's going to be an impact guy," said Williams of Fields, who played left field during winter ball and has played four games at shortstop for Charlotte. "If he was here right now, he would be an impact-type guy.
"We're going to have to start exploring ways to try and get him up here," Williams added.
With Joe Crede's back issue an ongoing concern, Williams mentioned careful thought must be given to moving positions for Fields. If Fields spends most of his time in left, it would be difficult to move him back to third in case of emergency.
Returning home: Joining the White Sox bullpen means more than simply another Major League chance for Brett Prinz and Ryan Bukvich. The duo pitched well enough at Charlotte to get the opportunity to help a bullpen which allowed 15 earned runs over 15 2/3 innings during the last road trip and posted a 9.06 ERA over its last 22 games.
But both relievers also have a Chicago connection, once removed. Prinz, who served as a right-handed setup man as a rookie on the 2001 World Series champions from Arizona, played baseball at Crete-Monee High School and hails from Chicago Heights in the southern suburbs. Bukvich lived in Naperville for the first five years of his life and had family in the stands for Monday's contest.
"This is very special to me, especially since I rooted for this team and not the other one," Prinz said. "I followed them pretty big. My dad brought me to games when we could come to games at the old Comiskey.
"I followed the Sox. I rooted for the Sox when they were in the playoffs and the team I was with was out of the playoffs. I'm a huge Chicago fan, except for the other [baseball] team. I'm a huge Bears fan."
Around the horn: Scott Podsednik had an MRI exam taken of his strained right adductor Monday, but results were not known as of game time. ... After going 0-4 with an 8.31 ERA in six games from May 23-30, White Sox starting pitchers produced a 1-1 record with a 1.65 ERA during the last four contests entering Monday. The White Sox also rank fourth in the American League with 29 quality starts. ... The 1-6 road trip for the White Sox was their worst since Aug. 11-17, 2003, when they finished 1-6 at Anaheim and in Texas. ... The Yankees lead the all-time series with the White Sox by a 1,017-791 margin and have a 39-36 edge at U.S. Cellular Field.
Down on the farm: Andrew Sisco allowed one run on three hits over two innings of relief Sunday, during Charlotte's 5-2 loss at Indianapolis. Sisco struck out one and walked one. ... Anderson Gomes launched his third home run among three hits as part of Class A Kannapolis' 15-5 setback against West Virginia.
On deck: If at first Mark Buehrle (2-2, 3.82) doesn't succeed going for career victory No. 100 in Tuesday night's 7:11 CT contest, then try for a seventh time. Buehrle has posted an 0-2 record and 4.31 ERA in his six starts since earning his 99th career victory on April 23 against the Royals. Tyler Clippard (2-1, 4.20) starts for the Yankees.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.