Notes: Crede to have back surgery
Sox won't know how long he'll be out until after procedure
PHILADELPHIA -- Joe Crede will undergo back surgery on Tuesday, performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, as announced by the White Sox after Monday's 3-0 loss to the Phillies.
The White Sox third baseman traveled to Los Angeles this weekend, and athletic trainer Herm Schneider informed manager Ozzie Guillen of the news during the course of the series opener. The announcement put a further damper on a dour White Sox clubhouse following the fifth time they were shut out this season.
Even Josh Fields, who Guillen said would become the team's starting third baseman in Crede's absence, was at a loss for words.
"It's an unfortunate deal," said Fields of Crede's impending surgery, which he was informed about during his postgame meal. "Hopefully, it will end up curing Joe's problems with his back. It's a tough deal, but hopefully everything goes well and he turns out all right.
"I really can't even get excited. I don't know how to take it right now."
According to a White Sox spokesperson, the type of procedure to be performed on Crede on Tuesday and the length of time for his recovery was not known as of Monday night. Crede had talked early last week of a surgery that would drain fluid from around two herniated discs in his lower back, which would cause him one month of pure recovery time and another month of non-baseball rehab.
But nothing certain would be known until the surgery was complete and the doctor could make sure he found what was expected with Crede's back. Crede opted against having back surgery in the offseason, going instead with an intensive strengthening program, which kept him healthy throughout Spring Training.
Pain resurfaced near the end of May, causing Crede to leave early from the final Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and it became bad enough in recent weeks where Crede had trouble sleeping or doing normal life functions. With Crede out of action possibly until September or longer, Fields will have to pick up the slack and pick up his average from its current .143 position.
"For me, it will be a positive to get more at-bats," Fields said. "But just like a lot of younger guys, I need to get my hitting back to where it was when I was in [Triple-A] Charlotte.
"They can want to get me as many at-bats as they can. But I imagine, if I don't get a couple of hits every now and then, I'm sure there are other people they can try out there at third."
Issue resolved: According to a report Monday from The Associated Press, the farmer who accused White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe of shooting him this past offseason received a monetary settlement to end the legal proceedings. The story also cited an anonymous source stating the sum paid was $25,000.
When asked about the situation after the game, Uribe seemed stunned by the information and even more stunned by the money he reportedly paid out.
"Pay $25,000? [Heck] no," Uribe said. "That's why it's taking too long. That's what the guy wants and I say I don't pay the money."
One of Uribe's lawyers in the Dominican Republic, Maria Luisa Guzman, told AP that the "complainant dropped the charges and recognized that Juan was not involved in the incident." Uribe received the same news Monday night from his agent in the Dominican, pointing out once again that he claimed his innocence from the very beginning in this shooting case which he viewed as extortion.
My agent said, 'I have a surprise for you to make you happy,'" Uribe said. "He told me the guy said it was not you. 'You are OK. You [didn't] do [anything].' I said, 'OK, I know I [didn't] do [anything].'"
Keeping tabs: Relief pitchers such as Andrew Sisco, David Aardsma and Mike MacDougal might be temporarily absent from the White Sox after starting the 2007 season in the Major Leagues. But Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper still keep a watchful eye on this trio of relievers trying to work their way back from Triple-A Charlotte.
"Sisco [is throwing] the ball good. Aardsma [has]been throwing the ball good. He gave up a home run [Sunday], I think. They are real happy with the way MacDougal is throwing," Guillen said. "They continue to get better, obviously they'll be up here."
Guillen wants greater consistency from the three deposed relievers, but most of all, wants them to work within the strike zone on a consistent basis. The White Sox manager would be more inclined to call back one of these veterans for bullpen help before turning to a talented youngster such as Adam Russell, currently starting for Double-A Birmingham.
"Not right now," said Guillen of Russell, who has a 5-5 record with a 4.44 ERA in 13 starts, along with 52 strikeouts in 73 innings. "Maybe the second half of the season, things change. He needs to get his innings. I don't think it's fair for him."
Family affair: Jim Thome played for Charlie Manuel in Cleveland when he was Thome's hitting coach and manager and during one injury-plagued season in Philadelphia. Although he views Manuel as an extended family member, Thome has no problem doing all he can to knock down the Phillies manager and his team in his return to Philadelphia and during his first time playing on the opposite side of the field from Manuel.
"You know what, Charlie is like a dad to me," Thome said. "Sometimes you have to try to beat your dad as well."
Around the horn: With Cole Hamels scheduled to start Tuesday night's contest, a southpaw who leads the National League in victories and strikeouts, left-handed-hitting rookie Jerry Owens will get another day of rest to heal a strained right hamstring. Guillen said Owens was available for Monday's contest ... Luis Terrero has earned the respect of Guillen through his versatile play since coming up from Charlotte on May 1. But Guillen would not commit to Terrero as an everyday player when asked Monday. "I'm not going to say I doubt it because I've never seen him play every day," Guillen said. "Does he have the tools? Of course. Some people are everyday players and some people aren't." ... Despite playing just 39 games in 2007, Thome ranks fourth in the American League with 41 walks.
Down on the farm: Gavin Floyd was named International League pitcher of the week for June 4-10. Floyd went 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA and produced 14 strikeouts in two starts. Floyd improved to 4-3 via Charlotte's 4-3 victory Sunday over Indianapolis, allowing one earned run over seven innings, fanning eight. Gustavo Molina homered and drove in two during the victory. ... Victor Mercedes hit for the cycle, while Cory Aldridge and Donny Lucy had three hits apiece, in Birmingham's 12-3 victory over Mississippi.
On deck: It's career start No. 1 for Jose Contreras (4-6, 4.23) against the Phillies in Tuesday night's second contest of this three-game set. He'll oppose Hamels at 6:05 CT.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.