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Guillen giving Swisher a shot in Game 2
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff

Dewayne Wise rounds the bases after hitting a three-run-home run during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Associated Press

Tampa Bay Rays' Willy Aybar, right, is congratulated by teammate Cliff Floyd after scoring on a hit by Carl Crawford during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox.

 

Associated Press

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Published: 10/2/2008 8:06 PM

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The White Sox paid a steep price to get Nick Swisher in an off-season trade from the Oakland A's.

Swisher was anything but the money player he was supposed to be this year, and the switch-hitting outfielder/first baseman and his .219 batting average have been riding the bench since mid-September.

Swisher is expected to start in left field today in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against left-handed starter Scott Kazmir.

Dewayne Wise has been starting against right-handers, and the journeyman outfielder came up big in Game 1 with a 3-run homer.

Swisher, who is signed through 2011, has been noticeably withdrawn since being pulled from the lineup.

Sox general manager Kenny Williams said there's a mechanical flaw in Swisher's swing. It can be corrected, Williams assured, but not until the off-season.

Swisher's power numbers (24 HR, 69 RBI) are good, but the batting average and on-base percentage (.332) are not.

Guillen said he hasn't talked to Swisher about his status since making the lineup change three weeks ago.

"When I put you in the lineup, you're playing," Guillen said. "I don't want you to come here asking me why I'm not playing, why I did this, because I don't want to deal with that. You don't play because I don't want you to play, and for a reason.

"If you play good, you play every day and that's easy. Sometimes people have to look at themselves in the mirror. I don't want to say that about Swish. I played the game, the manager never dropped me down because I was batting ninth and there was no more space down there for me. You play, you play. You don't, see what happens."

Not counting on Quentin: Injured left fielder Carlos Quentin is still holding out some hope he can return to the lineup if the White Sox advance deep enough into the postseason.

There are just two problems: Quentin hasn't even been able to take batting practice yet. Also, he hasn't played since Sept. 1.

"I don't want to hurt Carlos' feelings because I know when everybody gets to the postseason, everybody wants to be part of that," Ozzie Guillen said. "I respect his work habit, the way he goes about his business, but it's not going to be easy.

"If he thinks he's going to take batting practice, and all of a sudden be playing, I don't know about that one. At least we need to send him to the instructional league, give him some at-bats out there. He's not going to jump from the cage to the lineup. I don't think it's fair to him, I don't think it's fair to the ballclub, that's my opinion."

Roster logic: Ozzie Guillen said there was a big reason he chose relief pitcher Adam Russell for the 25-man playoff roster.

"Because Russell can give me more innings," Guillen said. "(Ehren) Wassermann, he's going to throw me one inning, one hitter. At least it's more fun when (Russell) throws 95 mph; you scare somebody. I like him because this kid's going to be here next year; I'm going to give him an opportunity to be in that situation."