Lasting impression prospects' top priority

Lasting impression prospects' top priority

MINNEAPOLIS -- The stories covering Tuesday's White Sox September callups ranged from a top prospect getting a chance to show his development during the season's final month to a one-time top prospect trying to erase any lingering doubt about his Major League abilities.

Tyler Flowers fits the first description, a talented young catcher who was acquired this past offseason from Atlanta in the Javier Vazquez deal. And it is Josh Fields standing behind the second analysis, the starting third baseman for the White Sox at the season's outset who is looking for any opportunity to prove himself after an in-season return trip to Triple-A Charlotte.

"I feel like I still have a question mark above my name," Fields said. "So, I'm looking for any opportunity given to me to come out and get a chance to play.

"To me, it has been a baseball season. You go through ups and downs. I just had trouble shedding and stopping my slump. Great hitters make slumps last a few games, as opposed to mine were a couple of weeks long."

Fields hit .220 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs while with the White Sox, including a grand slam during Mark Buehrle's perfect game on July 23. His last big league at-bats came on July 27 at the Metrodome, before he returned to the Knights, with his job having gone to rookie phenom Gordon Beckham.

Once at Charlotte, Fields found his stroke and hit .265 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. Before departing, he had made his thoughts clear as to how he hoped general manager Ken Williams would find some place in the Majors where he could play regularly.

But even though that trade never materialized, Fields had no qualms about coming back to the White Sox when asked on Tuesday if he was disappointed that he was still with the organization.

"You know, I'm here, that's the main thing," Fields said. "I just want to do the best I can. You can only take care of the situation at hand, and this is the situation now.

"I'm excited to be here. I feel like I've done a good job with certain situations this year. So, I'm excited for whatever the future holds, here or some other place. I know now I can get through pretty much any situation."

That same sort of big league excitement exists for Flowers, but he really is just starting his climb with the White Sox. Between stops at Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham, Flowers hit .297 with 15 home runs and 56 RBIs in 108 games.

Second baseman Chris Getz, who returned to the starting lineup on Tuesday, and outfielder Dewayne Wise also were brought back from their Minor League rehab assignments, while pitcher Carlos Torres was added and will start Thursday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Getz figures to be the only one of the five in the starting lineup for Wednesday afternoon's series finale and White Sox finale at the Metrodome, as they try to salvage a disastrous road trip with just their second win in 10 games.

"Obviously, the team has been going through a tough stretch, and it has been a very, very tough road trip and that stuff happens," said Getz, who had been out of action since Aug. 14 due to a strained right oblique. "We just need to keep pushing and playing and working hard. It doesn't change the way you play. You go out each day and approach it basically trying to get better each day."

Pitching matchup
CWS: LHP Mark Buehrle (11-7, 3.89 ERA)
Buehrle pitched well enough to give the White Sox a chance to win on Friday against the Yankees, which is really the main point stressed by manager Ozzie Guillen at this point in the season. Buehrle gave up two runs on eight hits over six innings, striking out one and walking two, in battling CC Sabathia pretty much pitch for pitch. Buehrle still has yet to win since throwing a perfect game against the Rays on July 23, having posted an 0-4 record with a 5.77 ERA in seven starts. When Buehrle last pitched at the Metrodome, he retired the first 17 batters faced to set the Major League record of 45 straight retired. Buehrle has a 2-2 record against the Twins this season and has a career-high 23 wins against the Twins, including 10 at the Metrodome.

MIN: LHP Brian Duensing (2-1, 4.37 ERA)
Duensing made just his third career start Friday against Texas, and it was an impressive one. The rookie left-hander went seven innings while striking out eight batters -- both of which were career highs. He surrendered just one run on three hits as he picked up his second career win. Duensing's first career start came against the White Sox. He allowed two runs in five innings and didn't factor in the decision.

Paul Konerko is one of the few White Sox starters not struggling of late, hitting .346 on the road trip. But he knows the trouble the White Sox are in, sitting seven games out of a playoff spot. "We are having a horrendous road trip here and we've been giving up ground," Konerko said. "As we speak, we are not in a good place." ... Beckham leads all American League rookies with 51 RBIs. ... On Tuesday, Alexei Ramirez hit his first home run since Aug. 14 at Oakland. ... John Danks has a 2.34 ERA in his last five starts and a 2.97 ERA in his last 10 road starts. ... The White Sox are 4-12 on turf this season and 26-30 within the AL Central. ... Here's a closing thought on the Metrodome from White Sox closer Bobby Jenks. "Baseball is an outdoor game," said Jenks with a smile. "It's supposed to be played outdoors."

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Up next
• Thursday: White Sox (Carlos Torres, 0-0, 6.75) at Cubs (Ryan Dempster, 8-7, 4.15), 1:20 p.m. CT
• Friday: White Sox (Freddy Garcia, 0-2, 5.94) vs. Red Sox (Paul Byrd, 1-0, 0.00), 7:11 p.m. CT
• Saturday: White Sox (Gavin Floyd, 10-9, 3.97) vs. Red Sox (TBD), 3:05 p.m. CT

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