CHICAGO -- Alejandro De Aza made his first 2011 start in center field for the White Sox during Wednesday afternoon's 2-1 victory over the Tigers, with his callup from Triple-A Charlotte made possible by the trade of Mark Teahen to Toronto.
Judging by general manager Ken Williams' comments before the contest, coupled with De Aza's first big league homer coming in the second inning off Detroit starter Max Scherzer in his first 2011 at-bat and serving as Wednesday's game-winning blast, it won't be De Aza's last.
If the fleet-footed De Aza can provide a spark to the White Sox lineup, after hitting .322 over 98 games for Triple-A Charlotte, then the struggling Alex Rios will have his playing time reduced.
"Here's what I told Ozzie: 'Do not worry about the size of the contracts,'" Williams said. "Just worry about putting the players out there on a given day that can help him win. The size of the contract is not Ozzie's problem. It's not [owner] Jerry [Reinsdorf's] problems. It's not the coaches' problems. That's my problem.
"Put the players on the field that can win. I don't give a darn if one guy is making $400,000 and the other guy is making $12 million. Throw the contracts and salaries aside. If we've got $20 [million] or $30 million sitting on the bench, then that's a Kenny Williams problem. That's not Ozzie's problem. We'll have pretty good pinch-hitters."
Rios is hitting .208 with just six homers and 23 RBIs in this dismal season. Designated hitter Adam Dunn, the club's big splash in the offseason free-agent market, entered Wednesday's contest with a .161 average, 10 homers, 38 RBIs and 130 strikeouts.
But manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't seem inclined to even label Rios as a bench player at this point.
"Right now, I cannot say," Guillen said. "[On Friday,] we've got a knuckleball pitcher [Tim Wakefield], and the next two days are lefties. I'm going to make the lineup like I always make. I'm going to make the best lineup I think is going to help this ballclub and see what happens.
"Every move people make, they're always going to blame somebody else, just because the players don't produce, the players don't do what they're supposed to do. In the meanwhile, I don't worry about making lineups. I know how to handle players. I know how to get the best out of them. Today, [De Aza] is playing."