CHICAGO -- The most relieved person with regard to the White Sox acquisition of Kevin Youkilis from Boston on June 24 was not general manager Ken Williams or manager Robin Ventura -- or any of the thousands of fans waiting for his arrival.
That unofficial honor went to veteran infielder Orlando Hudson, who played 25 games at third base after Brent Morel's back injury and the ineffectiveness of Eduardo Escobar and Brent Lillibridge at the position. It was not exactly a comfortable fit for the 11-year pro.
Hudson deserves a great deal of credit for taking on a position that he had never played at the Major League level and finding a decent level of defensive success, choosing to play third with a playoff contender such as the White Sox as opposed to joining a lesser team and getting a chance to flash his four-time Rawlings Gold Glove ability at second. Since Youkilis' acquisition, a second adjustment of dealing with life on the bench has come for Hudson.
Saturday's start at second base marked Hudson's second appearance of July -- and just his third since the Youkilis trade. But Hudson admittedly is enjoying life with the White Sox, even in the first true part-time role of his career.
"Anything beats the situation that I left," said Hudson, who was released by the Padres on May 17 and signed with the White Sox on May 22. "It's a great situation I'm in, and I'm enjoying it.
"It is kind of weird, but you know, life is about changes. This [was a change] for the good. Like my grandma told me, 'God is setting you up for something bigger. He's trying to humble you because you played every day of your whole career. Some days you fought the manager when he gave you days off and everybody had to play.'
"'Now, He has said it's time for you to sit down for a while. But He has something definitely down the path for you that definitely will be larger. It's a humbling moment for you.'"
Manager Robin Ventura said he would use Hudson again at third, although Escobar would be the first choice to back up Youkilis. Hudson wouldn't mind playing there after admitting that the original challenge got the best of him.
"I was scared to make a mistake," Hudson said. "Being the new guy, you don't want to make any mistakes. I was in my own head big time on defense, but it just didn't work out.
"If they need me to go out there, definitely I'll go out there. I'll do anything to help our team win a ballgame."
Humber making progress during rehab stint
CHICAGO -- Philip Humber gave strong reviews to his second Minor League rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte, which took place Friday night against Norfolk. The right-hander, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 17 with a right elbow flexor strain, allowed two runs on five hits over four innings, while striking out one and walking two.
"My arm feels great," said Humber, who threw 63 pitches. "This past [start], my fastball command was pretty much where I wanted it to be. That was really what we were going for this start. The first one was just to make sure you feel good.
"I threw sliders for the first time, so that was a good step, too. I feel like I'm healthy and it's just a matter of I don't know what the schedule is going to be here with the All-Star break and everything. I might have to make another start. But if I do, really the main thing I want to work on next is the command of my offspeed pitches."
Humber wouldn't be needed until July 16 or 17 in Boston, so he could make a third Minor League rehab start. Manager Robin Ventura indicated that would be the plan for the veteran right-hander, who threw the 21st perfect game in Major League history on April 21 in Seattle.
"They said there was nothing that hurt or felt strange," said Ventura of Humber's start.
"I'm anxious to get back here and pitch in a big league game, but I don't know what the plan with that is," Humber said. "I haven't even talked to [White Sox head athletic trainer] Hermie [Schneider] or [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper] yet."
One more start will allow Humber to build up his pitch count and endurance for a White Sox return.
"It hasn't been an endurance problem this year, but it's been more of having to make good enough pitches to go seven innings," Humber said. "Hopefully, when I get back, that's going to change. I definitely feel like I'm throwing the ball a lot better. I don't know what the results are going to be, but I definitely feel like I'm throwing the ball a lot better."
White Sox have no plans to sit Dunn vs. lefties
CHICAGO -- Adam Dunn entered Saturday's contest vs. Toronto southpaw Ricky Romero with a .158 average against left-handed pitchers, including seven homers and 52 strikeouts, over 95 at-bats.
The addition of Kevin Youkilis and his ability to play first base gives manager Robin Ventura a chance to rest the left-handed swinging Dunn against tough lefties. But Ventura didn't seem to be leaning in that direction.
"Every once in a while, you look at it. But he plays pretty much every day," Ventura said. "Now, with Youk being in here, you get a different mix of righty lineup against a lefty, mostly righties by putting [Eduardo] Escobar at third and Youk at first. It's a better one than we had before, but not all of them are that way.
"Again, [Dunn] walks. It's not the prototype for a three-hole hitter, but he does a lot of stuff that's good for us."
Ventura said that every time he thought of sitting Dunn, the slugger has gone deep and has humorously reminded his manager of that fact. Dunn has hit just .181 during June, albeit with eight homers, but intends to use the All-Star break to recover a bit -- even though he was selected to participate.
"These four days coming up are huge to the second half," Dunn said. "Those things that are bothering you, you need to heal them up and get ready for the second half."
Dunn went 1-for-2 with a walk against Romero, and 1-for-3 overall on Saturday.
Third to first
A second-half rotation framework is in place for the White Sox, but Ventura was not ready to announce it on Saturday. He didn't envision the rotation being set before the All-Star break, with the team waiting to see Chris Sale's work on Tuesday in Kansas City and Humber's ongoing recovery.
FOX has selected the White Sox at Detroit game on July 21. The first pitch will be 3:10 p.m. CT, moved from the previously start time of 6:05 p.m. CT.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, A.J. Pierzynski is the first White Sox catcher to hit 16 or more homers prior to the All-Star break since Carlton Fisk knocked out 23 in 1985.
Alexei Ramirez is hitting .411 with four doubles, a triple, a home run, 12 runs scored and 15 RBIs over his last 20 games.
Alex Rios' 11-game hitting streak came to an end during Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Blue Jays.