TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -Joe Crede was given the starting third baseman job for the Chicago White Sox over Josh Fields on Tuesday.
The team announced before Chicago's game against the Colorado Rockies that Fields, who hit 23 home runs as a rookie last season, will start the season at Triple-A Charlotte.
``He understands where we are, where he is in his career,'' general manager Ken Williams said. ``To his credit, he said, 'Well, I'll use it as an opportunity to improve on some things not only for myself, but to you guys. I'll get better defensively, I'll get better offensively so that I can be the total package when I get back to the big leagues.' A class reaction.''
Fields will address the media Wednesday morning, but seemed to know this weekend that Crede would get the job.
``I mean to a certain extent, there isn't much I could do because Joe is established,'' Fields said Sunday. ``It is a little harder to accept because I feel I put myself in as good a position as I could and I deserve to be in the big leagues, but I guess when it's your time, it's your time.''
Juan Uribe will start the year as the every day second baseman, but rookie Alexei Ramirez will get playing time there, along with spot starts from Pablo Ozuna, Williams said.
Williams said he tried to make room for Fields on the 25-man roster this spring. He had discussions with two teams about Crede - a free agent-to-be at the end of the year.
Neither team made a fair offer for Crede, keeping him on the South Side for now.
``With Joe, we're in a situation that we have the opportunity to put a guy out there that has shown, particularly in the late innings, that he can be a force,'' Williams said.
The club also reassigned infielder-outfielder Jason Bourgeois, right-handed pitcher D.J. Carrasco and catcher Paul Phillips to minor league camp, making Toby Hall the backup catcher to A.J. Pierzynski.
The final two open roster spots include the last spot in the bullpen between Nick Masset and Ehren Wassermann, and the final outfield spot between Brian Anderson and Carlos Quentin.

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