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Guillen leaning toward Richard
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/9/2009 11:29 PM

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It looks like Clayton Richard is going to get the first crack at replacing Jose Contreras in the White Sox' starting rotation.

The turn comes up at Cleveland on Wednesday, and Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said a left-handed pitcher is preferable against the Indians.

"I'm leaning toward Richard because he's a lefty," Guillen said. "I have to ask Coop (pitching coach Don Cooper) how many innings he can go, what he can do."

Class AAA right-hander Carlos Torres was an option, considering he was 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA. But the 26-year-old righty started at Rochester on Saturday night so he wouldn't be ready to pitch again Wednesday.

Richard has been working out of the White Sox' bullpen this season, going 0-0 with a 4.41 ERA and .324 batting average against in 11 games.

The 25-year-old lefty pitched out of the rotation and bullpen for the Sox last season and was 2-5 with a 6.35 ERA as a starter.

Plan for Contreras? The Sox have three options with demoted starter Jose Contreras.

The 37-year-old righty could be moved to the bullpen, he could go on the disabled list or he could continue starting in the minor leagues.

Before being optioned to Class AAA Charlotte, Contreras would have to clear waivers and the give his consent to go to the minors since he has over five seasons of major-league experience.

"He did it two years ago (pitched relief) and did great, and when we moved him back to the rotation he was great," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Right now, I think Jose is still in the process of a rehab. That's the way I want to look at it. I think this guy came a long way, he worked so hard in the off-season, spring training wasn't the one he wanted, but I think he's in the process of getting better. Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks we get him back on track."

Contreras is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this morning and a decision on his future could be made after that.

Beckham banged up: Top prospect Gordon Beckham missed his second straight game Saturday.

The Class AA Birmingham shortstop left Thursday's game against Montgomery with a strained abdominal muscle.

In 26 games this season, Beckham is batting .303 with 2 home runs and 14 RBI. His on-base percentage is .381.