White Sox center fielder Brian Anderson is close to returning to the big league club. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, and he started a rehab assignment tonight with Charlotte.
Anderson with 2-for-4 with a triple in the Knights' 2-0 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The winning pitcher in that game? Jose Contreras, who was recently optioned down to work on his control problems.
The good news for Contreras is he tossed six shutout innings. The bad news is he threw only 57 of his 108 pitches for strikes. He walked five, hit a batter and uncorked two wild pitches. You can get away with that in Triple-A. But if Contreras is going to get a recall, he needs to throw more strikes.
Getting Contreras back on track might make or break the Sox this season. It doesn't look like Clayton Richard is ready to handle a starting role.
Anderson, who I have criticized heavily in the past, will also be a welcome sight when he returns to the lineup. After Jermaine Dye was ejected in Wednesday's 4-0 loss to Cleveland, the Sox trotted out an outfield of Scott Podsednik, Brent Lillibridge and Jayson Nix in the late innings.
For those scoring at home, that outfield consists of two infielders (Lillibridge and Nix) and a guy the club picked up off the scrap heap last month (Podsednik).
The Sox need Carlos Quentin and Anderson to get healthy. It wouldn't hurt, either, if Dye would avoid getting ejected from games. The outfield I saw today in the late innings ranks among the worst Sox outfields of all time. I certainly can't recall a worse one.