Anderson activated from disabled list

Anderson back, Quentin still out

CHICAGO -- Brian Anderson returned to the White Sox starting lineup for the beginning of a six-game homestand, facing Minnesota on Tuesday night.

To make room for the center fielder, the struggling Brent Lillibridge, who was hitting at a .162 clip, was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

But if the White Sox want to put their disastrous 1-6 road trip to Cleveland and Toronto behind them and bounce back at U.S. Cellular Field, they will have to do so without Carlos Quentin. The All-Star left fielder's sore left heel kept him out of the starting lineup for a fourth straight game Tuesday.

"He might pinch-hit, but he might not start for the next couple of days. The way he was swinging, he might need a day off, too," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said with a laugh.

Quentin is hitting .187 with one home run in his last 21 games.

"[Athletic trainer Herm Schneider] and [general manager] Kenny [Williams] called me before I made the lineup. Carlos is not ready for today's game," Guillen said. "We might pinch-hit with him if we need him like we did in Cleveland, but he's not going to be in the lineup for a couple of days."

With Quentin's absence and Anderson's return, Guillen moved Scott Podsednik from center to left and put Anderson back in his natural defensive spot. Anderson, who strained his right oblique muscle during an at-bat on April 29 against Seattle, has been on the disabled list since May 1.

Anderson hit .273 in six games with the Knights on his injury rehab assignment before being recalled Tuesday. The 27-year-old feels ready to get back in action after hitting the ball hard while testing his recovery.

"I got some good at-bats with those guys, and it was just fun to be back in the mix playing baseball," said Anderson, carrying a .288 average with four RBIs into Tuesday's game. "It was weird because I felt good but it was one of those things that you haven't been able to get in your own head yet so it's kind of like you are free swinging.

"That's how it always should be. Unfortunately, it's not."

During his final game with Charlotte on Monday, Anderson played behind Jose Contreras against Toledo. The veteran right-hander made his second straight tremendous Minor League start, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning.

Contreras settled for a complete-game one-hitter, striking out five, walking three and throwing 66 of his 100 pitches for strikes.

"Jose was lights out," Anderson said. "I've been behind him a bunch. I know what he's capable of doing, and you could tell he was not himself up here. On Monday, some guy guesses right in the eighth inning for that one hit and you could tell it was going to be as good as it would get for those guys. His [split-finger] was the best I've ever seen it."

Guillen joked on Tuesday as to how the White Sox would wear Charlotte uniforms upon the return of Contreras, since he has not allowed a run in 15 innings pitched for the Knights. But Contreras seems to be accomplishing his desired goal when requesting a trip to the Minors after his 0-5 big league start to the 2009 season, getting comfortable again on the mound to help the team in the future.

"Coop talked to his pitching coach and he said his command was fantastic, his breaking ball was back," Guillen said. "We're going to wait to see another outing, but I know the plan we have right now is for him to be on the big league team. Hopefully he continues to throw the ball that way."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.