Sox fifth starter dilemma continues

Sox fifth starter dilemma continues

CHICAGO -- D.J. Carrasco wants to do whatever is considered best for the White Sox.

The right-hander would love the chance to return to the starting rotation, a slot that opened up this past weekend, when Jose Contreras suffered a season-ending injury to his left Achilles tendon. But in the long run, Carrasco will play the role in which manager Ozzie Guillen deems him as most valuable.

"It's one of those things where, 'What do you really do?'" said Carrasco, pitting his valuable current relief role against serving as a spot starter. "I feel like I'm helping the team a lot in the seventh inning and doing a good job.

"But if I could help the team starting, and that's what we need more, then that's what I want to do," Carrasco said.

This particular discussion basically has been going on since Contreras suffered the unfortunate injury while covering first base during the second inning of Saturday's loss to Boston. Factoring in Carrasco's 4 1/3 innings of relief on that particular night, not to mention his past work as a starter in games as recently as 2005 with the Royals, and he seems to be the No. 1 candidate to take the mound for Thursday afternoon's series and homestand finale.

Other options would be using Lance Broadway or calling up a pitcher from the Minors for at least this one start. Broadway hurled one-third of an inning on Monday night, but Guillen doesn't figure the six pitches thrown by Broadway should prevent him from coming back on Thursday.

"I hope, but the way players are going right now, you never know," said Guillen with a smile of Broadway, pointing out he would have two days off prior to Thursday. "We might have to call his agent to see if he's available to start.

"That's the way baseball's going right now, all the political [garbage]. He's definitely in the mix."

Guillen's decision for Thursday actually could be dictated by the outcome of Wednesday's contest. If Carrasco is needed in the seventh or eighth against the Royals, then Guillen won't hesitate to call on him. After all, Guillen doesn't want to risk a chance to win Wednesday in order to set up the team for Thursday.

According to Carrasco, he could start Thursday even he had pitched Tuesday -- as long as the pitch count was low enough. Pitching Wednesday, though, would pretty much rule out Carrasco for Thursday, but Guillen quickly added that if Carrasco works five or six innings Thursday as a starter that then he's lost to the team for three or four days.

Current struggles for the White Sox bullpen might dictate Carrasco staying right where he presently is. Guillen said a decision would be announced following Tuesday's game, in order to avoid going through the entire question-and-answer session on the same topic yet again on Wednesday. But after the 9-0 victory, Guillen said an answer would be provided before Wednesday night's contest.

"Over the last two days, I've been scratching my head," said Guillen, who had hoped to make the decision before leaving U.S. Cellular on Tuesday. "I hope I can leave today and know what's going on."

"If I'm more valuable in the bullpen, then so be it," Carrasco added.

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