White Sox third baseman Mark Teahen, out since Memorial Day weekend with a fractured finger, is on his rehab assignment in Class AAA Charlotte. Teahen is 5 for 10 with two RBIs in four games thus far.
By next week, Teahen will be ready to return. At that point, which current Sox infielder will be booted off the 25-man roster? There are three possibilities -- Mark Kotsay, Dayan Viciedo or Brent Lillibridge.
Based upon merit, Kotsay and his .214 batting average should be gone. Instead of being the designated hitter, the veteran really should be designated for assignment. Alas, Kotsay is an Ozzie Guillen favorite, so his roster spot is probably safe.
I don't think the Sox can send Lillibridge down. He can play anywhere in the infield, and he's the lone guy on the Sox bench that can pinch-run. For my money, Lillibridge stays.
That leaves Viciedo, who has options left. However, the Cuban rookie hit a home run during the first game of today's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, raising his batting average to a robust .328. Viciedo has stone hands at third base, but can the Sox send him down when he's hitting so well?
I'll take a guess and say the Sox will put Kotsay on the DL with some phantom injury, then bring him back when the rosters expand on Sept. 1. Teahen is a better player than Kotsay. Lillibridge and Viciedo are also better. However, Guillen isn't going to want to let his guy go. Thus, Kotsay will probably come down with a mysterious back ailment sometime in the next couple days. Teams pull that kind of stuff all the time.
An additional roster move is being made with the pitching staff today. Carlos Torres was called up to lose the second game of the doubleheader in Detroit. He'll be on his way back to Charlotte tonight. Lefty Erick Threets was placed on the DL with turf toe (speaking of phantom injuries) to make room for Torres. Now, Torres is gone and he'll be replaced by lefty Chris Sale.
Sale was the Sox first-round draft pick in June. He's been tearing it up in Charlotte -- 15 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings since being promoted. It will be interesting to see if Sale can give the Sox another late-inning option in the bullpen.