Roster Battles: White Sox Settle on Joe Crede

TJ MarchCorrespondent IIIApril 14, 2008

"Light it up!" shouted former White Sox pitcher and current radio announcer, Ed Farmer as Joe Crede's first Grand Slam of the season, fifth of his career.

Those four RBIs put "Late Inning Joe," as he has been dubbed by the South Side faithful, on top of the League Leaders for RBI for the season. 

That was on Monday night for the Chicago White Sox home opener.

It is currently the following Monday. Joe Crede is tied for most RBIs in baseball with 15. 

Sunday afternoon at US Cellular Field against the Detroit Tigers was the stage for Crede to repeat his Monday night performance.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning, Joe Crede launched a 2-1 pitch from Detroit's Zach Miner into the left field bleachers.

Coming into Monday's contests, Joe Crede was tied for first in RBIs (15) and was batting .341 with a .391 on-base percentage and a .707 slugging percentage.  In addition, Crede has tied the number of home runs that he hit in 47 games during his abbreviated 2007 campaign in just 11 games.

Despite Crede returning to form, the Chicago White Sox still have the young Josh Fields waiting in the wings.

Fields batted .244 with 23 home runs and 67 RBIs in his 100 games with the 2007 White Sox. 

However, Fields and his AL rookies leading 23 home runs from 2007, are sitting on the AAA Charlotte Knights roster.

Josh Fields is batting .353 with a home run and seven RBIs in nine games in the Knights early season.

With both third basemen showing that they are more than ready for the big time, what do the White Sox do?

Crede has the track record and with already showing that the season-ending back surgery from 2007 is not hindering him, Josh Fields could be viewed as expendable. 

The Sox have a need at starting pitching. GM Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen are relying heavily on the two youngsters, Gavin Floyd and John Danks, as well as aging veteran, Jose Contreras.

Crede has an edge over Fields in several ways.  Defensive, timely hitting and the history on the South Side are all advantages that Crede has right now.

Fields has the youth, which at this time, might command more on the trade market.

With the White Sox needing starting pitching, the wisest thing for the Sox to meet their "win now" philosophy might be to package a deal around Josh Fields for a middle of the rotation starting pitcher.

Giants still have a gap in their line up and at the hot corner starring them in the face. Would a deal including Josh Fields and another prospect or two command Kevin Correia in return?

Or how about the Pirates and their lack of infielders? It would allow them to shift over Jose Bautista to shortstop. Could Fields be swapped for Zack Duke?

There are still several teams with a need at third. Between Fields and Crede, the Sox have two every day third basemen for one spot.

The Sox should begin thinking about signing the World Series Hero, Crede, to a long term deal. This would free them up to trade the young Josh Fields for a middle rotation starter to compliment their great start to the 2008 season.


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