ARLINGTON -- A legitimate All-Star case could have been made for White Sox pitchers Freddy Garcia and J.J. Putz, and definitely for first baseman Paul Konerko, one of the final five on the American League's 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
But the biggest South Side snub is center fielder Alex Rios, who wasn't chosen for the Midsummer Classic or put on the Final Vote ballot.
Rios, who has a chance to produce the first 30 home run, 30 stolen base single-season effort in franchise history, is hitting .303 with 45 RBIs, 49 runs scored, 22 stolen bases and 13 home runs. The mild-mannered veteran, playing Gold Glove-caliber defense, seemed completely unfazed by being passed over in the process.
"There were people who deserved to go to the All-Star Game more than I did. It's just the way I feel," Rios said. "I'm not mad at something or anyone. It's just what happened. I didn't care that much. It's all good."
Putting Rios on the Final Vote ballot with Konerko basically would have canceled out either player's chance to win the competition, which is what happened to Konerko and Frank Thomas in 2004.
Basically, good players having high-quality first halves will get snubbed, and there's no exact science in the All-Star selection process to avoid such a problem, according to the White Sox captain.
"I don't know if anybody has a better way of doing it. I'm sure there are a lot of smart people who have come up with the system and how it goes," Konerko said. "If there's a better one, they would apply it. As long as there's a fan vote, and a player vote and every team has to be represented and all those things are involved, it's just going to be tough to make it work.
"I've seen it happen to other teammates, other guys around the league. That's why you don't get emotionally involved with it. It's good for your family and your friends. It's cool for them. Anything beyond that, you can't get attached to it because you don't know how. ... Performance might be the third or fourth thing on the list in making the game, which is ironic in itself."
Pitch causes bruise to Vizquel's left knee
ARLINGTON -- Omar Vizquel exited Sunday night's 5-3 victory over the Rangers in the third inning after suffering a bruise to his left knee from a Scott Feldman pitch.
The 43-year-old veteran limped off the field with the help of manager Ozzie Guillen and head athletic trainer Herm Schneider, although he seemed to steady himself a bit as he reached the dugout. Dayan Viciedo pinch-ran for Vizquel and stayed in the game at third base.
X-rays were negative, and Vizquel will be re-evaluated Monday in Chicago. Guillen seemed to think Vizquel would miss a couple of games during the four-game set against the Angels.
"Hermie said maybe the next couple of days we'll have a better idea, but Omar got hit pretty good," Guillen said.
Vizquel was brought to the White Sox through free agency primarily as a backup at shortstop and second base, but his defense at third base has played a valuable role in the team's recent 18-5 resurgence over the past 23 games. Vizquel owns a 110-game errorless streak and has made 32 starts this season -- 21 at third base, six at second, four at shortstop and one as the designated hitter.
"He's been the spark of this team," said White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. "I just talked to him and he said he'll be fine."
White Sox rotation proving durability daily
ARLINGTON -- As the first half of the 2010 season comes to the close, the White Sox starting rotation has proven to be one of Major League Baseball's most durable five, if not quite the most dominant.
The quintet of Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia have combined to start every one of the team's 80 games -- including Buehrle's 5-3 win over the Rangers on Sunday night -- joining the Rays and the Marlins as the only teams to use just five starters. There have been occasional extra days of rest provided to Garcia or Buehrle, and the same was true for Peavy in Pittsburgh, when a MRI revealed fluid in his shoulder and pushed the right-hander back to a weekend start in Washington, D.C.
There have been no absences, though, from the team's strongest suit, and the White Sox starters don't plan on any excused breaks from their regular turn.
"I hope so," said Buehrle, when asked if the rotation could go through the entire 2010 campaign without missing a start. "Obviously, there are freak injuries and stuff can happen, like the other night, where [Detroit's Joel] Zumaya throws a pitch and he's done. But we are all doing a good job on our arm stuff, watching pitch counts and getting sideline situations."
"Our starters going like they have, it's wonderful," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. "But I can't remember a starter missing a start, to tell you the truth, since 2002. I know we put El Duque [Orlando Hernandez] on the disabled list, but that was to save him from himself to keep him ready for the playoffs in 2005. I can't remember a pitcher missing a start for an arm injury."
Credit for this durability goes to the pitchers, who all are shooting for double-digit wins and 200 innings pitched, not to mention the training and conditioning staffs. But Cooper wants quality as much as quantity from the crew driving this team's playoff contention.
"Running those guys out there, that's why they get paid the big money," Cooper said. "Not only run them out there, but being way up in all the starting categories.
"We've got to go for it now. The only thing we have to watch is them doing well and turning in quality efforts."
Ozzie salutes Thome's home run prowess
ARLINGTON -- Jim Thome's two home runs Saturday for Minnesota moved the slugger into 10th place on the all-time list, giving him 574 -- one more than Harmon Killebrew.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen praised Thome's accomplishment, remembering the parts of four seasons he spent with the future Hall of Famer.
"Awesome. No doubt he's a first ballot Hall of Famer. Nice career, very nice gentleman," Guillen said. "To be that good of a player with that kind of career and everybody love you, that's a compliment -- because when you are good, people hate you.
"He was easy to manage, and everybody in this clubhouse loved him."
Third to first
Guillen hopes to get an inning of work for Bobby Jenks during the next two games, but not necessarily in the closer's role. Guillen is being careful with Jenks, who was away from the team for six days to deal with a family illness. ... Texas entered the weekend series third in the American League in runs, but scored just three in each game. ... The White Sox have just two home runs in their past 14 road games, both coming on this 3-3 road trip. They have a 10-4 mark during that run.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.