Callups to get look in final games

Callups to get look in final games

CHICAGO -- The White Sox never wanted to be in this spot.

Manger Ozzie Guillen has said since September began that if the White Sox were out of the playoff race, the team's Minor League prospects would take the big league field to gain experience for next season while playing in a low-pressure environment.

Now, it appears he will make good on his word.

With September reaching its conclusion and six games remaining in the regular season, Guillen finds his team eliminated from playoff contention. And no matter how well or poorly the South Siders play to close the year, they will end the season right there.

All of that makes Chicago's upcoming series against Cleveland a perfect opportunity for the likes of catcher Tyler Flowers and infielder Brent Lillibridge to see some extended playing time.

Flowers got a taste of big league action against the Tigers on Saturday night, making his first start behind the dish in his young Major League career. He finished the game 0-for-2 and is batting 2-for-12 (.167) in seven games.

Lillibridge is hoping to see some extended action, too.

"I would assume now that we're out officially, there's going to be more just trying to see what the young guys are going to be able to do for next year," Lillibridge said. "I've been working out every day, ready to have a chance to play, and playing a couple games in a row would be awesome. But there's not a lot of stuff I can do to prepare myself anymore than what I did in the offseason and Triple-A and a little bit of time here. But I'm looking forward to any chance I get to play."

Lillibridge, who saw Major League playing time earlier in the season, is hitting .143 (11-for-77) in 40 games this year.

Although Chicago has two series remaining, Guillen said he likely would only play his September callups in the first series, against Cleveland and not against Detroit.

Detroit leads Minnesota for first place in the American League Central by a slim margin, and Chicago still has an opportunity to shake up the playoff race.

"I don't care about Minnesota, I don't care about Detroit," Guillen said. "If I do something different, my name is going to be all over the place like, 'Look, he doesn't respect the game.' Cleveland, you might see a couple moves to see the kids, and if Detroit and Minnesota are still fighting for the pennant race, you're going to see the big boys out there. Well, I don't know big boys. You can call them big boys. They're going to be out there. The regular lineup is going to be out there."

Even if Lillibridge only gets an opportunity in one series, he still believes there is something to play for.

"Definitely for guys, they want them to have some success at the end of the season, just to help your status or whatever, and also just to have a good taste going into the offseason," Lillibridge said. "Everyone wants to win because it just makes it easier for the rest of the season."

Pitching matchup
CWS: LHP John Danks (12-10, 3.82 ERA)
Danks had his streak of eight consecutive quality starts snapped in an 8-6 loss against the Twins on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. He surrendered his most runs in a game since Aug. 6 against the Angels. Danks lasted six innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and three walks. He also served up three home runs, which boosted his season total to 25. Danks allowed only 15 home runs during the entire 2008 season. He last faced the Indians back on June 5 and took the loss, allowing five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

CLE: LHP Aaron Laffey (7-7, 3.93 ERA)
Laffey redeemed himself after a pair of rough outings against the Rangers and Twins by holding the Tigers to a run on seven hits with three walks and no strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday. He did a much better job commanding his sinker, and that allowed him to induce a pair of double plays. The lone run came on a solo homer. Laffey gave up four runs over six innings in a loss in his lone start against the Sox this season.

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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
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On radio
• WSCR 670

Up next
• Tuesday: White Sox (Carlos Torres, 1-1, 5.91) at Indians (Justin Masterson, 4-9, 4.79), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: White Sox (Jake Peavy, 8-6, 3.75) at Indians (Fausto Carmona, 4-12, 6.62), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Off-day

Jesse Temple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.