Sox pick Masset, send Wasserman to AAA

[Phil Rogers]:

In what likely will be the last bit of business before Opening Day, the Sox picked Nick Masset for the one vacancy on the pitching staff. Guillen said Ehren Wasserman had out-pitched Masset but will start at Triple-A Charlotte because he has minor-league options left.

Guillen said that the Sox were afraid Masset, who is out of options, would be claimed on waivers if he was sent to Charlotte.

"We're looking at what's best for 162 games, not 30 games," he said.

Joe Crede, who is bothered by a bruised left ankle, played four innings in the field on Saturday and is expected to be available on Monday.

Guillen listed the following lineup for the game against Indians' lefty C.C. Sabathia: left fielder Nick Swisher, shortstop Orlando Cabrera, designated hitter Jim Thome, first baseman Paul Konerko, right fielder Jermaine Dye, catcher A.J. Pierzynski, center fielder Ramirez, third baseman Crede and shortstop second baseman Juan Uribe.

in other news, Alexei Ramirez will be the Sox everyday centerfielder:

The White Sox hope Ramirez carries over his strong spring effort into the start of the 2008 campaign and beyond. He won't just start against pitchers who rely on their fastballs such as Sabathia, he's the everyday center fielder over Brian Anderson and Carlos Quentin.

That job could belong to Ramirez, even when Owens returns, although Guillen is not one to take away a position because of injury.

"This year, the players always have somebody behind them to perform," said Guillen, who added Owens played well during Spring Training, even with his groin injury. "If you don't perform, we have somebody else to do it.

"But [Ramirez] earned the job. We didn't hand it to him -- he earned it. The Cuban Missile got it. I think this kid has a great chance to be special. I think he did everything he was supposed to do to be on the ballclub and in the lineup. This kid has cold blood."

and Ozzie can't overcome his love for Profundo!

Guillen originally had talked about using Pablo Ozuna and his .300 career average at second base and in the leadoff slot against C.C. Sabathia, but decided to go with Juan Uribe at second. The one-time White Sox shortstop will hit ninth, with Nick Swisher moving to left field and assuming the leadoff role until the small tear in Jerry Owens' sore right groin heals.

Missing Owens for the start of the season changes the dynamic of the White Sox attack, with the speed guy missing from the top. But Swisher's career .361 on-base percentage might be exactly what Guillen is searching for to spark the offense.

"What are we going to do with a speed guy if he's never on base? You can't steal first," Guillen said. "We have a great second hitter, we are going to hit and run a lot. We'll put the runners in motion."

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