Podsednik likely out another month

SEATTLE -- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is already missing slugger Jim Thome from his anemic lineup. Now he says Scott Podsednik, the team's catalyst, will likely remain out another month.

"Podsednik, I'm not counting on him until June," Guillen said Wednesday about the leadoff man who has played in just 10 of 25 games because of a right groin strain.

"Thome, I think he's going to go on a minor-league assignment for a couple of days [next week] to see how it feels," Guillen said.

So yes, after watching his White Sox lose for a season-high fourth consecutive time and fifth time in six games, Guillen had concerns.

About keeping it light.

He joked that he was afraid the White Sox were going to lose money because of all the bats Seattle Mariners pitchers broke during his team's latest loss, a 3-2 defeat. Both runs were on solo home runs -- just like the night before.

He also said he was going to check his e-mail for all the unsolicited suggestions for lineup changes he is sure to receive now that Chicago has sunk to the bottom of the major leagues in batting average, by far, to .221.

"I'm not going to lose faith in these guys. I still have faith in them," Guillen said after Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko homered but the rest of the Sox managed just four singles.

Chicago, on an eight-game road trip that now goes to the Los Angeles Angels and AL Central rival Minnesota, did not have a runner in scoring position in the two-game series in Seattle. Not that it would have helped. The White Sox entered Wednesday ranked last in the AL with a .220 average with runners in scoring position. Last year, Chicago led the major leagues in such situations, at .307, baseball's fourth-highest figure since 1974.

"Who's to blame? Everybody," Guillen said. "I blame Walk [hitting coach Greg Walker]. I blame myself. I blame the lineup.

"I support Greg Walker. I am behind him 100 percent. I told him to keep going and doing what he's been doing. We learned from the best -- [former White Sox hitting guru] Walt Hriniak," he said.

Guillen said even the team's video librarians may be to blame, for perhaps not preparing hitters well enough to study their swings.

Wednesday, the Sox scored just two runs for rookie John Danks, who still doesn't have a win in five starts in the major leagues. But that equaled their run production for Danks in his previous four starts combined.

The White Sox took batting practice Wednesday, an early-afternoon game after a night game, while the Mariners did not. Tuesday, before Guillen said every pitcher facing his team "looks like Cy Young" right now, Chicago had extra batting practice indoors. So work ethic is not the issue.

"Everybody is playing harder now, as hard as when it is going well or we are hot," said Konerko, who is batting .202 -- even after two hits Wednesday, including his fourth home run. "It's frustrating."

Guillen said he is not going to yank guys in and out of the lineup for the sake of making changes until Thome and Podsednik return. Instead, he may move a player around inside the lineup.

And he will keep on teasing and joking with them, to make sure their heads are up.

"I don't think we are down like we think we are a bad team," Konerko said. "But we are frustrated that we get good pitching and aren't scoring runs."