CHICAGO -- What was Alex Rios' first thought when he fouled a Clay Buchholz pitch off of his left knee during the eighth inning of Monday's loss? It certainly wasn't, 'Man, I just missed that pitch.'
"I was thinking, 'It hurts like a son of a [gun]," said Rios with a smile.
But Rios reported less pain on Tuesday after leaving Monday's game. He was able to put pressure on his left leg, when he wasn't sure about being able to walk. His status remains day-to-day, with five days remaining in the 2010 season.
Pierzynski uncertain about his future
CHICAGO -- A number of the pregame questions directed toward A.J. Pierzynski on Tuesday referred in the past tense to the catcher's time in Chicago. There were inquiries about Pierzynski's favorite moment with the team, his infamous steal of first base during Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series and what he liked most about the organization.
The tone of the questions reached the point where the soon-to-be free agent had to ask if the media knew something he didn't about his potential return.
"You guys are talking like there's no chance I'm coming back," Pierzynski said. "Apparently, you guys know something that I don't know, so fill me in."
Actually, nothing really is known about the status of the White Sox free agents, aside from Paul Konerko choosing to address his situation one time on Thursday before departing for the offseason. Tyler Flowers has been groomed as the White Sox catcher of the future, but after a rough year with the bat, Flowers' future remains up in the air as to whether it will start in 2011.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen intends to get Flowers a few starts in the weekend Cleveland series. But Guillen added how it's hard to judge Flowers on just September at-bats.
"When he played that day in Oakland? I liked the way he handled the pitching staff and had good at-bats," said Guillen. "But one game doesn't mean anything."
Guillen spoke about waiting a week or so after the season to truly evaluate the players who need to return. Talking about the players presently would be clouded by the team's disappointment for coming up short in the American League Central race.
Pierzynski has been a valuable and underrated piece to the White Sox puzzle since 2005. He has caught more than 1,000 innings in each of the last nine seasons, and is a .290 hitter who does a solid job handling the pitching staff. He also stands in good health and is ready for the next chapter of his career or to extend the current one in Chicago.
"I haven't gotten to that point. I really haven't thought about it," said Pierzynski. "Just thinking about these six games and trying to get through those.
"Physically, I'm in better shape now than I was five or six years ago. I feel I have five to six years left in me hopefully. If somebody wants to see me go out there, then I'd be more than happy to go out there."
Quentin aims to enjoy game more next year
CHICAGO -- There's a great deal for Carlos Quentin to be happy about in regard to being part of the Chicago White Sox.
The right fielder stands as a prominent and valued contributor to the team's offense, and as run production goes, has had a solid year with 87 RBIs. The arbitration-eligible Quentin also earned $3.2 million during the 2010 campaign.
Yet, this young talent, who can be quite thoughtful and humorous with his comments, walks around with a semi-permanent scowl. He doesn't seem to be enjoying a game where he has excelled, and that problem has become one Quentin said he will address in the offseason.
"I want to make sure, I need to do all I can to make sure my efforts on the field are in the right direction," said Quentin, carefully choosing his words while addressing this topic on Tuesday. "When I say that, I mean in a sense of right direction as always positive, always directed toward enjoying this game."
Quentin could learn a lesson in this area from Scott Podsednik, the one-time White Sox World Series hero. Podsednik admitted how he didn't allow himself to appreciate all the game had to offer before he was temporarily out of baseball at the start of the 2009 season. Podsednik came back to the White Sox a more relaxed and more successful individual.
It's now an offseason target for Quentin.
"That's basically what I have to say about that," said Quentin, without going into specific detail of his plans. "I have to take steps to do that in the offseason, and I will."
Beckham leaves his return up to White Sox
CHICAGO -- After testing his sore right hand during Tuesday batting practice, Gordon Beckham has left the decision to Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox as to whether the second baseman plays in the final five games.
Beckham feels ready to get back into action.
"Yes, absolutely. It's up to them on what they want to do right now because obviously everyone knows where we are, what we have left," Beckham said. "A lot of people would argue that there's nothing you need to do, need to prove right now, so let's get it completely well.
"It's a decision I'd rather not make. I'd rather someone would say, 'You're out or you're playing.' That would be easier for me. I just hope it doesn't get worse with more swings. If I jam one and it gets worse, a part of me is saying just get it better."
This bruised right hand first occurred when Beckham was hit by a pitch on Aug. 30 in Cleveland. He has not played since Sept. 16 against the Twins.
"There are swings that I feel it," Beckham said. "I feel like if I don't hit it perfect, if I don't square it up, it hurts. It feels better now than when I was playing those eight games in September, man. It didn't feel better at all then."
Even with Mark Buehrle at 200 innings pitched, double-digit victories and 30 starts for a 10th straight season, Ozzie Guillen said Tuesday that Buehrle is welcome to make his final start on Saturday. Buehrle indicated Monday he wanted to pitch Saturday. Guillen gave the option to Freddy Garcia for Wednesday, and Garcia said he was taking the mound. "The only people I want to be on the field are the people who want to be on the field, not have to be on the field," Guillen said. ... Guillen needs four wins in the last five games to reach 600 for his career. ... In Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Red Sox, Alejandro De Aza picked up his first hit since June 30, 2009, against Washington. ... Manny Ramirez has reached base in 21 of 23 games with the White Sox.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.