MIN@CWS: Leesman strikes out eight in MLB debut

CHICAGO -- Charlie Leesman understands the White Sox could call on him during Saturday night's contest if starter Andre Rienzo gets in trouble or even if they need an out or two in the middle innings. Developing that reliever mentality, which could allow the 26-year-old to make the big league roster in '14, has been a work in progress for the career starter at the Minor League level.

"It's definitely different being out of the bullpen, especially for the first time being in the big leagues of all places," Leesman said. "But, overall, my body feels good.

"I'm getting more adjusted to it. I'm not on the edge of my seat from the first inning on. I kind of relax for a little bit and then kind of kick it in when I have a feeling. I have an idea of when I could be used now.

"And when I can kind of foresee things happening, I get up and get going from there," Leesman said. "It's a little bit tough, but each day that goes by, I'm getting a little bit better at it."

Manager Robin Ventura said that Leesman could get another start over the season's final two weeks, after making his Major League debut on Aug. 9 against the Twins in that particular role. Leesman exudes confidence in either situation, even after dealing with a Thursday outing where he faced seven batters, didn't retire any of them and allowed seven earned runs in a 14-3 loss to the Indians.

"For whatever reason, it didn't happen and that's just how it went that day. A career is a long thing so I'm sure it won't be the last time, and it wasn't the first time," said Leesman, who admitted that he tried to pick too much with his pitches. "Just one of those crazy nights that I'm moving on from. Go get them next time."

Floyd moving forward in rehab as free agency looms

TB@CWS: Floyd leaves game with injury in the third

CHICAGO -- Ask Gavin Floyd for an update concerning his ongoing rehab program following season-ending surgery on May 7 to repair his ulnar collateral ligament and flexor muscle and his answer becomes just a bit muddled.

He feels good for certain, although not quite 100 percent. And he's making progress in phase six of a 12 to 14-phase program. Beyond those morsels of knowledge, it's a wait-and-see process for the right-handed hurler.

"I have a long toss program and then I have a mound program and then I'm pretty much ready to go," said Floyd of his recovery. "That's if everything goes smoothly.

"It's nice to get back to square one and work on the simplicity of throwing a baseball and getting the right slot. My elbow feels great, and everything feels good."

Floyd has been throwing for three weeks and has stretched out as far as 75 feet. That long distance program gradually will move back distance-wise, leading him back to the mound.

A free agent after this season, Floyd's seven-year run in Chicago might have come to a close with a 63-65 record and 4.22 ERA. But the two sides are familiar with each other so nothing is out of the question.

An original recovery time of 14 to 19 months was listed for the 30-year-old Floyd after the surgery, but he's hoping to be ready before that time. That hope all depends on how he feels in moving from step to step.

"I've got a long way to go, but we'll see how it goes as it comes along. It will all pan out as it should," Floyd said. "I'm trying to be smart about it. But at the same time, I feel good and I want to be somewhat aggressive about it.

"I definitely want health for the long term, not just next year. But it's one of those things that we'll see how my body responds more than anything. How my arm responds. Stay in the present, see how you feel today, move on and then if everything goes smoothly, I don't know. It's possible I guess."

Slumping Dunn gets mental break

CWS@BAL: Dunn belts a two-run shot in the fifth

CHICAGO -- Mired in a 9-for-84 slump over his last 23 games and a 2-for-30 drought over his last nine, designated hitter Adam Dunn got the night off Saturday. It was about resting a veteran, as much as giving the struggling Dunn a mental break.

"Over the course of the end of the season, you're going to see a couple more," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I'll probably give Paulie [Konerko] a day tomorrow with it being a day game. With them, they could probably use a break. [Dunn] looks tired right now."

Dunn hit .148 and .165 over the first two months, only to bounce back and hit .272 with 18 homers and 51 RBIs from June through August as he used left field more with his hitting approach. That resurgence has dipped to a .105 average in September with one homer and three RBIs.

"This year has really been streaky for him," Ventura said. "He looks really good for a long period of time and then there are periods where he's swinging and missing. He could be another one that toward the end of the year, he's tired."

Third to first

• Double-A Birmingham was named the Southern League Organization of the Year and general manager Jonathan Nelson was named Southern League Executive of the Year, giving him a second such honor.

The organization award is presented to the club that exemplifies the most complete baseball franchise in the Southern League. The Barons topped the Southern League in total attendance (396,820) and average per game (5,669) at new Regions Field.

• September has become an evaluation time for the White Sox in regard to their young prospects, but with 13 losses in their last 15 games entering Saturday, it also has the potential for those same young players to develop bad habits or the wrong attitude. Ventura believes the approach of the coaching staff and the approach of the players won't allow those negatives to occur.

"It's their future. If they want come up and waste it, that's on them and you move on and go to something else," Ventura said. "This is the big leagues and it's about how you do and how you go about your business.

"If you're going to do something to make us better in the future, that's how you evaluate it. I think a lot of guys that have played a long time, they've been on good teams, they've been on teams that were bad, they've been on teams that were not going to be in the hunt. The year doesn't change how you play the game.

"There are things that are going to be different now because we're playing some young guys," Ventura said. "But you go out and play hard and the effort still has to be there."

David Purcey has a 0.44 ERA over his last 19 outings and has not allowed an earned run in his last 10 appearances. Opponents are 13-for-80 against him and 2-for-28 with runners in scoring position.

• Saturday marked the popular Halfway to St. Patrick's Day promotion, with the White Sox wearing green in their uniforms.