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GM in his manager's corner
Ken Williams wouldn't comment Wednesday night on a reported extension for Ozzie Guillen, but the White Sox general manager was more supportive of his manager and coaching staff than the back end of his starting rotation.
"Let me just say this," Williams said before the Sox lost 2-1 in Detroit in 11 innings. "There has not been one thought in my mind through all of this that maybe Ozzie Guillen isn't the guy to bring another championship in Chicago. I'll just leave it at that."
Williams added that the fate of the coaching staff—all under contract at least through 2008—would be in the hands of Guillen, who endorsed his staff last week.
The shape of the rotation, however, currently is being dictated by pitching coach Don Cooper and, partly, by Gavin Floyd, who pitched six innings of one-run ball that was good enough to earn another start.
Cooper intimated Floyd would stay in the rotation for the rest of the month if he continues to pitch well. Floyd has allowed four runs in 12 innings over his last two starts and he has allowed only one run in 12 innings against the Tigers at Comerica Park this season.
But those flashes of brilliance have been offset by debacles in which he has allowed six runs or more in three other starts. Floyd is out of minor-league options so the Sox must decide whether he is a starter, long reliever or trade bait.
"The jury is still out," said Williams, who raved about Floyd's curve after watching him pitch in the Arizona Fall League before acquiring him last December. "The one thing you can get excited about is when you see it, it's something special. I think you guys have seen it.
"But too many times we've seen the alter ego as well. It's part of being young, inexperienced and not having your major league shoes on just yet, possibly. Or this could be part of a career trend. It's up to him."
The rotation was adjusted so Floyd could take the spot of rookie left-hander John Danks, who has thrown 136 1/3 innings this season. Danks will make his next start Tuesday against Cleveland on 11 days' rest.
Mark Buehrle also will receive an extended rest after starting Thursday's finale against the Tigers.
If Floyd stumbles in any of his upcoming starts or a starting pitcher feels fatigued, recently promoted Heath Phillips probably would get a start.
Phillips made his major league debut in the 11th and suffered the loss when he allowed a two-out double to Brandon Inge and a game-winning single to Timo Perez off the wall in right.
With Buehrle possessing full no-trade rights and Javier Vazquez holding a limited no-trade clause for 2008, Floyd's improvement could ease any apprehension about trading Jon Garland or Jose Contreras (who is owed $20 million over the next two years) to address other needs.
For the second consecutive start, Floyd weaved out of several jams. His only blemish was an opposite-field homer to No. 9 hitter Mike Hessman in the fifth.
"His only enemy is him," Guillen said. "He has a great arm. He has big league stuff. The only problem he has is [inconsistency]. Hopefully he'll come along with that and be a big league pitcher."
Rookie Danny Richar's homer off Kenny Rogers gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the third. Two of Richar's five hits off left-handed pitchers have been homers.
Donny Lucy collected his first major league hit—a single.