Plain As Day, Sox Need Just One More Hitter

With the White Sox closing in on first place, will Kenny Williams make a move? George checks out the possibilities.

Guess Ozzie Guillen loves his Sox so much he won't ask GM Kenny Williams for another significant player.

Maybe he'll change his tune when the Sox scrape by to a few wins on this home stand via pitching and manufacturing runs alone, and they're still one or two games behind the Twins or Tigers.

"Kenny should know what we need and we don't," Guillen said Monday afternoon just before the Sox, having broken even on a Kansas City-Texas road trip, opened a seven-game home stand against the Angels and Royals to take them into the All-Star break.

"I said that before: I'm not the kind of manager who gets involved in players, who should be here and who should not," he said. "If Kenny thinks we need someone, we'll get it. Believe me, we'll get it. That's the way it is. Kenny is always very aggressive. He knows exactly what the ball club needs. I don't worry about that, who's coming in and who's coming out."

But if Guillen first sounds reluctant to show his hand, just keep him talking. The truth always comes out. A few minutes later, he was asked if the Sox could use a left-handed-hitting run producer.

"Give me a good one (a run producer). When I was with the Marlins (as third-base coach), they asked us if we needed a left-handed hitter. I remember saying why do we need a left-handed hitter, we need a good hitter.

"Hopefully we don't need anyone. Otherwise, something's missing on this ball club. Right now we're not missing too much."

Right now, though, the Sox are missing an experienced bat at third base while Gordon Beckham's sick stick at second tries to mend itself. Old war-horse Omar Vizquel, hit on the knee Sunday night in Texas, is limping along with a bone bruise and may not return until later in the week. That leaves Cuban import Dayan Viciedo as the primary fill-in at a time when Guillen just wanted to spot him against lefties.

The top name in the rumor mill is the Nationals' Adam Dunn, who would give Guillen flexibility to rest Paul Konerko or Juan Pierre while Dunn takes their spots, or serves as the three- or four-day-a-week DH. The big drawback is the re-energized Nats are on the hunt for prime young talent. The Sox farm system is only starting to rebuild after a long dry spell. They may not want to surrender top pitching prospect Daniel Hudson given the age and wear and tear on veteran starters Mark Buehrle and Freddy Garcia.

A first baseman-outfielder-DH of the Dunn type is the priority. A middle infielder to add depth and spell Beckham would be welcome, too. I don't think Brent Lillibridge fills that bill. This is crazy-sounding, but Williams could call up friendly colleague Jim Hendry for one of his three second basemen -- all of whom could also play other infield positions. Jeff Baker in particular could provide backup at third just in case Mark Teahen does not hit when he returns from a broken finger, Viciedo is not fully ready and Vizquel is best served in a utility role, not a five-day-a-week starter.

The Sox don't need a whole lot to contend in the AL Central. Minnesota has backed up to the pack much more than I could have predicted, providing the Sox their opening to jump back into the race.

Williams is up to something. Always in stealth mode when doing a deal, he made several cameo appearances around the dugout before Monday's game. He was informally dressed in workout shorts -- he usually is sartorially superior to the writers when he wants to chat. And Williams most often talks on the first day of a homestand.

Better he talks to other GM's at this point that utters vague, generic descriptions of his needs to the media. That's the Williams who is most effective. The Sox need that version right now.

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