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Sunday, August 14, 2011
White Sox rookie Stewart in limbo after off day

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO -- Despite Phil Humber not matching his strong early-season results, the White Sox are leaning toward putting rookie Zach Stewart in the bullpen after Monday’s off day.

But manager Ozzie Guillen still hasn’t ruled out staying with the six-man rotation, even though he knows that off days this Monday and on Aug. 22 would create long gaps between starts for some of the pitchers.

“I don’t mind [a six-man rotation] because I think it helps a few people and it will give Stewart a chance,” Guillen said. “The last couple of outings he pitched very good. But it’s all about what we need not what he needs or what they need. If we need him to be in the bullpen he will. If not, we’ll stick with six.”

The White Sox will have Stewart available in the bullpen as a long man during the series between the Cleveland Indians that runs form Tuesday-Thursday. If Stewart isn’t needed, Guillen has left open the option of using the young right-hander as a starter during next weekend’s home series against the Texas Rangers.

“We don’t know, because it depends on how things go in the next couple of days,” Guillen said. “The only pitching change is if something happens in those games and one of the starters doesn’t go the distance then Stewart will go to the bullpen like we did it in Baltimore, but I don’t expect any changes right now. I think a few people need an extra day but we’ll see how that thing works form Tuesday on.”

In two starts with the White Sox (Aug. 6 at Minnesota and Friday against Kansas City), Stewart allowed a combined three earned runs over 12 2/3 innings. Over his last five starts, Humber gave up at least four runs each outing and has four losses and a no-decision to show for it.