Final roster decisions made, not announced

Final roster decisions made, not announced

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen now knows his final 25-man roster headed to Cleveland for Opening Day on April 1.

Guillen simply chose to defer announcing that piece of official news following his team's 6-3 loss to the Angels on Saturday at Camelback Ranch.

The final decision before breaking camp appeared to come down to Lastings Milledge and Brent Lillibridge as the 25th man and last position player, with Phil Humber looking safe as the temporary fifth starter and Jeff Marquez seemingly on the team as the long reliever. It was a 12th-pitcher idea posed by general manager Ken Williams when talking to the media Wednesday, used as a way of insulating the White Sox in that fifth spot with Jake Peavy out of action.

But comments from Guillen following Marquez's four-inning Saturday start, during which he allowed three runs on six hits, just might indicate both Lillibridge and Milledge will be leaving Arizona with the White Sox.

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"He pitched well. He pitched good. He did everything we asked him to do, and that's the best Spring Training he's had, put it that way, since we've had him," said Guillen of Marquez, who came over from the Yankees as part of the November 2008 Nick Swisher trade.

"In the meanwhile, you have to make moves sometimes," Guillen said. "The last move always hurts."

If Marquez is indeed the last move, the White Sox might have felt an 11-man pitching staff was workable with a starting four known for working deep into games, a solid bullpen and two early off-days in April. The White Sox wouldn't need a fifth starter until April 10 and 20, meaning Humber could work in long relief during the first few weeks.

Lillibridge and Marquez both are out of options, meaning they would have to clear waivers before being sent to Triple-A Charlotte. There weren't many roster decisions for the White Sox to make coming into Spring Training, but outstanding play from Lillibridge and Milledge potentially turned the last call into one in which neither loses.

"We needed them to battle, to compete against each other, and that battle was awesome," said Guillen of Lillibridge and Milledge. "Either move we make was not a comfortable one.

"I'm not going to say it was unfair, but unfortunately it's a 25-man roster. That decision was what we need the most on the team, what we should get. We're going to go with what we think is best for the club."