Notes: Gong goes quiet

Notes: Gong goes quiet

CHICAGO -- One of the most common sounds at U.S. Cellular Field during the 2004 season was the gong that announced the entrance of Shingo Takatsu into the game and, while the sound had become less prominent this season, the gong has now officially gone silent.

On Monday, the White Sox designated Takatsu for assignment to make room for the return of Orlando Hernandez from the disabled list.

Takatsu had struggled throughout the start of the season. He was 1-2 with a 5.97 ERA and eight saves in 31 appearances.

The decision was not an easy one for either manager Ozzie Guillen or general manager Ken Williams. Trying to make room for the return of Hernandez meant that one player would have to go and though many had suspected that it would be relief pitcher Bobby Jenks, the team went in another surprising direction.

"We just felt that at this time, with Ozzie being able to only work Shingo in situations that really weren't late-game situations, that we'd be better off trying to maximize Bobby's potential," Williams said. "He's a guy that's 97 to 100 [mph] with a lively fastball, an exploding fastball, a hard breaking ball. All he has to do, in my opinion, is get himself comfortable in his Major League shoes and throw strikes."

The potential for Jenks was just too much for the White Sox to overlook. Jenks pitched a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts in his Major League debut on July 6. He struggled in his second outing, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning, but Williams felt that developing Jenks in that role would be better than trying to get another quality bullpen pitcher.

"We've got something special that cannot only help us in the short term, but in the long term as well," Williams said of Jenks. "When you look out on the open market for those types of guys that possibly could be available toward the end of the month, you very quickly realize they're not available. They're not out there. If we can grow one of our own into the role with the time we have left, we're going to be better off."

The move might have been the best for the club, but that didn't mean it didn't cause some restless nights for Guillen.

"I fought long with it," Guillen said of the move. "[Takatsu] was a great teammate and he did a lot of great things for us. He was really special for me and it was hard to do what we did."

The news about Takatsu was not a complete shock as rumors had been floating around over the weekend about a possible trade of the right-handed pitcher. But it was still surprising for many of the players to hear news of Takatsu being designated for assignment.

"You hear something about him getting traded to a West Coast team, but for us to release him and not trade him, it's definitely a surprise," Mark Buehrle said. "He struggled a bit this year, but he has done an outstanding job for us."

The club now has 10 days to trade or release the right-hander.

Takatsu's interpreter told Japanese media that he is still mulling over what he will do in terms of his future plans.

While Guillen hopes that Takatsu will stay within the organization, he feels that there is a strong likelihood that another team will pick him up.

"The thing about Shingo is, Shingo's fine," Guillen said. "He's ready to go with any team. It wasn't about Shingo, it was about Jenks staying in the big leagues.

One is a lonely number: The departure of Takatsu leaves Tadahito Iguchi as the lone Japanese player on the White Sox roster.

Iguchi did not hear the news of Takatsu's departure until the second baseman walked into the clubhouse and saw the locker right next to his was empty.

"It's definitely a certain feeling of lonesomeness not having him here," Iguchi said through a translator.

Iguchi said that having Takatsu as a teammate made his transition to the United States easier. Though the move comes as a big surprise, Iguchi said that it would not affect his feelings toward the White Sox.

"It's all for the benefit of the team," Iguchi said. "But I would have liked to have won a championship here together."

Gload no more: The White Sox made another roster move on Monday, reinstating first baseman Ross Gload on his return from a rehabilitation assignment before optioning Gload back to Triple-A Charlotte.

Not having another expendable player, especially with the need for Willie Harris in the infield due to Joe Crede's back injury, was a big part of the decision not to bring back Gload. The emergence of Jermaine Dye as a backup at first base for Paul Konerko was also a factor and makes it likely that Gload will not return before September callups.

"I'm not afraid to put him back [at first base]," Guillen said of Dye. "He'll be there when Paulie needs a day off. If he was there for a week, it'd be different. But if you're there for a one day I don't see why not."

All quiet on the trade front: Countless rumors of possible trades involving the White Sox have surfaced as the July 31 trade deadline nears, but Williams said that any trade now is highly unlikely.

"You never say never," Williams said. "But I think what can be categorized as a major deal, I personally don't see that on our radar screen right now. It's pretty evident it would cost us something that I don't think us very prudent."

The trade market has dwindled in recent weeks with many teams still vying for Wild Card spots. Many of the American League teams are not willing to make trades with the Sox according to Williams and he will not do anything to drastically shake up a team that has a 61-29 record.

"When you look at the open market and look at what potentially you can do, it's just not conducive to us getting any better," Williams said. "And if there's nothing significant out there, I think we're better served going with the guys that brought us here."

Down on the farm: Brian Anderson has been having a strong season for Triple-A Charlotte and the past week was a perfect example of it. Anderson was named the International League's Batter of the Week for July 11-17. Anderson was 8-for-16 with three home runs and five RBIs during the stretch.

Anderson's honor included his performance in Charlotte's 3-2 victory over Louisville on Sunday, when he went 1-for-3 with a solo home run. Brandon McCarthy started the game for the Knights and pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and striking out four.

On deck: Jose Contreras (5-5, 3.99 ERA) has been a bit wild on the mound during his starts this season but it hasn't hindered his ability to limit batters. Contreras has held opponents to a .222 average this season, the second best in the American League. Contreras will face off against Jeremy Bonderman (11-6, 4.23 ERA) of the Tigers at U.S. Cellular on Tuesday night.

Kelly Thesier is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.