SEATTLE -- In closer Addison Reed and right-handed setup man Jesse Crain, the White Sox possess a one-two late-inning punch rivaling almost any team in baseball.
The question for this duo, aside from whether one or both will be selected as American League All-Stars, is how long will they continue pitching together? Crain seems to be the more likely of the two candidates to move, working in the final stage of a three-year, $13 million deal and putting together some of the best work of his career.
Unfortunately for the hurler, the White Sox level of excellence is not close to his career-best 22 straight scoreless appearances or 20 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Crain hasn't thought much about what direction he might be going if the White Sox continue to go south and general manager Rick Hahn decides to make changes.
"I mean a little bit, but I don't consume myself with it," said Crain before Tuesday's game at Safeco Field. "I can't control it, so all I do is worry about coming here every day and going about my business and throwing one pitch at a time when I'm out there. That's all I can do."
Crain has recorded 26 strikeouts over his scoreless streak, potentially increasing his trade value along the way.
The 24-year-old Reed, pitching in just his second full big league season, seems like much less of a trade prospect from a struggling White Sox squad.
Reed not only has established himself as a reliable closer, tied with Joe Nathan for third in the AL at 17 saves, but he is also under team control through 2017. The young hurler would like nothing more than to be like Paul Konerko and play for the White Sox for 15 years.
But he also takes a pragmatic view of the fact that when a team underachieves, there aren't many untouchables, if any. His closing predecessor, Sergio Santos, was traded two months after agreeing to a three-year extension.
"Just certain times in the season, a team might have to give up somebody in order to get another piece that they are missing," Reed said. "They might give up some guys that they don't want to or some guys that they saw staying with them for their whole career.
"It's not something I'm worried about or thinking about. If it happens, it happens. Right now, I'm with the White Sox and do everything I can to help this team win. It honestly doesn't go through my head.
"This is the team I was drafted by, and it would be awesome to stay with one team your whole career," Reed said. "If I had the choice, I'd stay with the White Sox until I threw my last pitch in the big leagues."
Lineup shuffled to try to break out of funk
SEATTLE -- Robin Ventura made another attempt to shake up a White Sox offense hitting .192 with 11 runs scored over its seven-game losing streak.
Tuesday against the Mariners, Gordon Beckham moved up to the lineup's second spot, followed by Conor Gillaspie hitting third. Adam Dunn stayed sixth, with Alexei Ramirez dropping to the seventh position in more of a run-producing role. Jordan Danks' left-handed bat also replaced Dayan Viciedo against Seattle right-handed ace Felix Hernandez.
"It's one of those you are kind of getting into a rut of the same thing happening over and over again, and so you have a couple more lefties in there and have a chance to mix it up," Ventura said. "Nothing more than that. At this point, anything different is probably good."
Ventura said it was possible that the White Sox could stick with a new lineup, if it helps break his team out of its funk.
"We are in the business of trying to win games, so if it works, I'm sure there's probably more opportunities for someone in there," Ventura said. "But it's just to break it up."
Despite the prolonged offensive struggles, the White Sox have maintained an upbeat clubhouse demeanor. Ventura strongly stressed Tuesday there's no room for a more negative thought process.
"If you're feeling sorry for yourself, there's not a spot for you in the lineup," Ventura said. "It's not easy for anybody, but it's one of those that if you don't have the attitude of coming in here, ready to play and get after it, then there's bigger problems."
Club zeroing in on Draft options for first round
SEATTLE -- White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann said the team has narrowed its list to five or six players for the 17th selection in Thursday night's first round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
"I've never gone through a Draft where every single option you have is taken away from you," said Laumann during a Tuesday conference call, adding that his staff is confident with the 10 or 12 guys going ahead of the White Sox. "We know enough about the guys ahead of us. We are real confident one of the guys will remain available and we'll get a guy we really like."
Laumann said that both general manager Rick Hahn and executive vice president Ken Williams have been involved in the process and the meetings taking place in Chicago over the past few days. This is Hahn's first Draft in charge and will show his imprint, but the marching orders haven't changed for taking a player with impact.
That player could be a high-school middle infielder or college pitcher. But Laumann believes the team can get someone with a high upside and someone who is signable as well.
"We might have one guy and I'd rather not comment on any specifics, one guy we deem to be a superior talent that for more than just signability reasons might slide a little bit," Laumann said. "We are going to have to play that game, if the percentages of taking that risk to get him signed outweigh getting the guy we want. We are going to get a guy we want and can sign and address things we need to get done."
As for the team's second-round pick at No. 55, Laumann joked that he felt good about that pick until he started putting his board together. He told the story of a past Draft during which the White Sox had to decide between two players for a particular early pick and the guy they didn't take was available to them in the next round. So, it's even more speculative at that stage than the first round.
Velocity not Danks' top priority this early in comeback
SEATTLE -- John Danks' average velocity checks in at 89 mph over his first three 2013 starts, according to fangraphs.com, and he topped out at 90 mph in his start Monday against Seattle. But Danks believes that worrying about velocity at this stage of his comeback does more harm than good.
"Really what got me in trouble at Wrigley is I was trying to get more than I had on that particular day," Danks said. "I've kind of taken the mindset that I'm going to go out there with what I have, try to stay within myself and throw the ball down in the zone.
"I didn't have great stuff [at Wrigley on May 29] and tried to make more than I have. When I do, the ball comes up and usually gets hit pretty hard."
White Sox manager Robin Ventura thought Danks looked as good as he has this season in Monday's loss, and Danks was in agreement thanks to a strong change and solid fastball command. He's also been warned about potentially not feeling this good throughout every start as the first year anniversary of his Aug. 6 arthroscopic shoulder surgery approaches.
"I'm certainly prepared for it," Danks said. "I think they told me that more to keep my psyche good rather than beat myself up and worrying about it's not there. I'm ready for it and hope it's not a problem."
White Sox to make up rainout with Cubs on July 8
SEATTLE -- The May 28 game between the Cubs and White Sox, which was postponed because of rain, has been rescheduled for Monday, July 8 at 7:10 p.m. CT at U.S. Cellular Field.
This new date breaks up a nine-game, three-city road trip for the White Sox going into the All-Star break, with three games at the Rays preceding the Monday makeup, followed by three in Detroit and three Interleague games in Philadelphia. The three games at Comerica Park mark the first contests between the Tigers and White Sox this season and the first three of 19 moving forward.
Game tickets and parking coupons from the postponed contest will only be honored at the July 8 makeup game. That game with the Cubs will be broadcast by Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WSCR 670 AM and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes 97.5 FM.
Tickets remain for the game and are available at whitesox.com, orgullosox.com, the U.S. Cellular Field ticket office and through Ticketmaster. The Cubs take a 3-0 series lead into this makeup, with their trio of victories starting this current seven-game losing streak for the White Sox.
Third to first
• Infielder Micah Johnson and outfielder Jason Coats from Class A Kannapolis were selected as North Division All-Stars for the South Atlantic League All-Star Game to be played June 18 in Lakewood, N.J. Johnson is hitting .320 with a baseball-best 47 stolen bases in 52 games, while Coats is hitting .283 with three homers and 32 RBIs.
• Monday night's White Sox starting lineup included all nine position players from the Opening Day lineup against Kansas City. The last time the White Sox had all nine Opening Day starters in the lineup at the same time was April 7 against Seattle. Both Gordon Beckham (April 10-June 3) and Dayan Viciedo (April 19-May 10) have spent extended time on the disabled list.
• Following Tuesday's 7-4 loss, 24 of the last 30 White Sox games have been decided by three runs or fewer. The White Sox are 13-11 record in those contests.