White Sox notebook: Podsednik may be done in Chicago

Nathaniel Whalen

Scott Podsednik’s season, and possibly his stay with the White Sox, could come to an end as soon as Friday, depending on how he feels.

Podsednik strained his right rib cage during a ground out Tuesday night and couldn’t start Wednesday. That left manager Ozzie Guillen with essentially one position player — Andy Gonzalez — on his bench, and the need to figure out Podsednik’s status as quickly as possible.

“To this point (he’s) day by day,” Guillen said. “We’re going to find out how bad he is. It gets to the point if we put him on the DL, he could be done for the season because it’s 15 days plus rehab with the minor league season going to be over pretty soon. We try to stay away from him for that ...

“I’m real short in the bench, and we’re going to give him (Wednesday) and (today) to see how he feels.”

With 13 pitchers, the Sox’s very thin bench Wednesday consisted of a backup catcher (A.J. Pierzynski), Gonzalez and Podsednik, who could not hit according to Guillen but did pinch run for Jim Thome in the bottom of the ninth.

Podsednik, who declined to talk with reporters, has been on the disabled list twice this year, because of a strained right adductor and later strained left rib cage.

Considering Podsednik’s been unreliable, according to Guillen, Jermaine Dye and Jerry Owens are pretty much assured of being in the Sox outfield next year. Josh Fields could also end up in left if Joe Crede returns to play third base, meaning the free-agent-to-be Podsednik could be done in Chicago.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do or what they’re thinking,” Guillen said. “We haven’t talked about it yet.”

Leading off

Jim Thome is seven homers shy of 500 for his career, and if he’s close come the end of the season, Guillen might tinker with his order to give the designated hitter a few more at-bats.

“Don’t be surprised if we’re late in the season and you see Jim Thome leading off (to) make sure he gets one more at-bat than anyone else,” Guillen said.

Thome has never started in the leadoff spot, but the Sox would love to see him break the record any way possible.

“The way Jim is, there are a lot of guys who reached 500 home runs where I don’t think their teammates cared about it as much as we’re going to care about Jim doing it,” Paul Konerko said. “He’s a great guy and we’re looking forward to it.”

Around the Sox

After tying the major league record with 41 consecutive batters retired, Bobby Jenks will donate his glove to the Baseball Hall of Fame when the season ends. ... Dye and Pierzynski will sign autographs at the Brookfield Zoo today from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ... With Wednesday’s announced crowd of 31,739, the Sox surpassed 2 million mark for the third straight season.

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