The Center of Sox Attention - NBC Chicago

The Center of Sox Attention

Center field position remains unsettled



    The Center of Sox Attention
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    The injured DeWayne Wise is just one of the center field candidates who have failed to grab outright control of the position.

    White Sox centerfielders are like Bulls post-players or Bears QBs prior to the Jay Cutler signing -- there's nothing close to a blue chip stock in the portfolio, so all you can do is take the collection of junk bonds you have, and try to maximize your return.

    Thirty-one-year-old DeWayne Wise was a career minor leaguer for a reason, and there's no reason to expect his game will significantly improve when he returns in 6-8 weeks from injury. He earned the job coming out of spring training simply because, as the Dave Matthews Band once put it, "we'll make the best of what's around." Of course, the criticism Wise received from White Sox Nation this April was grossly unfair, because he never possessed the talent and potential of the guy who's now stepped into his place.

    Brian Anderson, the Sox first round draft choice in 2003, is on perhaps his 17th or 18th chance to be the guy the Sox front office expected him to be. He has a notorious reputation for enjoying the Chicago nightlife on a truly heroic level. We're talking about Mark Grace or Kyle Farnworth level partying here. Perhaps now he's matured and is ready to focus on developing his natural talent into making himself a true Major League hitter. He's always been great defensively, but his career batting average (.222) and on-base percentage (.282) are LAUGHABLY bad. He'll have to continue showing increased patience at the plate.

    When Wise went down, Jerry Owens was recalled from AAA Charlotte. He has speed, but nothing even close to the tools necessary to be a consistent major league hitter. 2005 World Series hero Scott Podsednik was signed to a minor league contract that week, but he's been injured numerous times since then, and is now essentially washed up.

    The last option is highly questionable. Can Gordon Beckham make the jump directly from AA to play the position? His towering homers in spring training make that seem plausible. Then again, we're talking about spring training.

    Owning Cactus League pitchers is a far cry from tearing up Scott Baker or Cliff Lee in the middle of an August pennant race. Read more of Paul Bank's work on The Sports Bank, the NBC Chicago Street Team Blog and