05/03/2002 01:58 am ET
Parque, Rauch demoted after loss
By Jimmy Greenfield / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- A sizable portion of the good will the White Sox built up in two decisive victories over the Seattle Mariners blew out of Comiskey Park in Thursday night's series finale like so many Mike Cameron home runs.
While Cameron and his teammates were celebrating his record-tying four-homer outburst that led to a 15-4 Mariners victory, the Sox were announcing a shake-up in their pitching staff.
Jon Rauch and Jim Parque, who combined to give up all four of Cameron's homers, were sent to Triple-A Charlotte after the game and replaced by right-handers Rocky Biddle and Matt Ginter.
Both Biddle and Ginter will be available for Friday's series opener at Comiskey against Oakland, who were having a rough time getting to Chicago from New York. Their charter jet was diverted because of weather and as a result they weren't scheduled to arrive in Chicago until at least 2 a.m.
Oakland roughed up the Sox last weekend, outscoring them 32-5 in a three-game sweep. The Sox bounced back to take the first two from Seattle, but with Thursday's loss they fell a 1/2 game behind Minnesota in the American League Central.
The question of who will take Rauch's place in the starting rotation won't be answered publicly until at least Friday afternoon.
While Biddle is an option, White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said it was also a "possibility" that Gary Glover could move from the bullpen into the No. 5 slot vacated by Rauch.
Glover has been outstanding in relief after opening the season by not retiring a batter in his first outing at Seattle. Since then, he has thrown 13 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run.
"We haven't told the players (what their roles are) yet," Manuel said. "I would rather speak with them before I let (the media) know what we're going to do."
Biddle underwent shoulder surgery last September and didn't start pitching off a mound until mid-March. His velocity is back in the mid-90's and after striking out nine in seven innings with the Knights the decision to bring him back was made.
In 21 starts last season Biddle was 4-7 with a 5.54 ERA, while he fared slightly better out of the bullpen, going 3-1 with a 4.20 ERA.
The right-handed Ginter, a 1999 first-round pick who had brief stints with the Sox the last two seasons, had a 5.40 ERA in 10 relief appearances at Charlotte.
Parque was despondent afterwards, not wishing to discuss his demotion as he prepared to return to Charlotte barely a week after the Sox had called him up.
"What's there to talk about?," Parque said.
In three relief appearances since getting recalled on April 24, Parque gave up nine runs in nine innings, including Thursday night when he allowed four home runs - three by Cameron - and six runs in six innings.
"He's got to get the arm strength and he's got to get out guys like Cameron," Manuel said.
Rauch's first opportunity with the Sox ended in disaster, but despite an 0-1 record and a 9.82 ERA it wasn't all bad. In each of his first three starts he displayed the nerve to pitch inside and was never afraid to go right at hitters.
And while White Sox pitchers were battered last weekend in Oakland, Rauch allowed three hits in five scoreless innings in his longest and guttiest effort of the season.
Whatever Rauch took from that outing he must have left it in Oakland. He hit the first batter he faced Thursday, then gave up back-to-back homers to Bret Boone and Cameron.
The only man he retired was Jeff Cirillo, and that wound up being the final batter he faced.
"We were confident that the guys we had would be able to do the job," Manuel said. "It just didn't work for them."
Jimmy Greenfield covers the White Sox for MLB.com and can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.