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Pitching acquisitions on hold, for now

Pitching acquisitions on hold

CHICAGO -- The name of Jarrod Washburn has been liberally, though not always directly, thrown around as a possible White Sox rotation replacement since Jose Contreras' season-ending injury suffered on Saturday night.

Those rumors apparently are just that, unfounded speculation, according to comments made by White Sox general manager Ken Williams prior to Monday's series finale with the Red Sox.

"There have been some names in the paper, one in particular, that I can unequivocally tell you that I have not made one single phone call toward that particular player," Williams said. "I don't know where that came from, because I don't believe that particular player would be a good fit for us."

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Finding a pitcher who fits stands as Williams' biggest challenge as he scours the waiver wires along with assistant general manager Rick Hahn. It's not necessarily about the basic act of adding a quality hurler.

Washburn, as an example, probably would fit in as a contender's fifth starter. Despite a 5-11 record with a 4.76 ERA in 2008 for a miserable Seattle squad, the southpaw has a 98-97 career mark and a 4.12 ERA.

But the White Sox are in search of a pitcher who has the ability to induce ground balls, featuring a little cut or sink that becomes so valuable at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field, not so much the understanding of being able to throw the changeup behind in the count. As of Monday, both Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen liked what they had in-house better than the potential outside options.

"I'm happy with what I've got," Guillen said. "We need 25 guys to play good every day to win this thing."

"You start looking at names that really don't necessary fit the equation and you never want to do that," added Williams of waiver-wire deals. "A lot of names out there that are veteran type guys that would on the surface appease everyone and say we have that spot covered, but we know it won't work. Our in-house candidates would be better served than an outside choice, because we've trained them to be able to pitch in this ballpark."

D.J. Carrasco or Lance Broadway appears to be the starting options for Thursday afternoon's contest against the Royals and Kyle Davies. Where the aggressive Williams is concerned, a possible move never can be ruled out. In this instance, though, the replacement part looks to be currently with the team.

"Sometimes, the most obvious move isn't so obvious for us," Williams said. "In essence, if we don't really believe that will translate into success in this ballpark, and that's very key, then it doesn't make sense to do it.

"So, the most obvious moves, sometimes, to the public isn't the most obvious in all of our research and what we've done to determine what is successful here in this ballpark," Williams added.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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