Left-hander Gio González was reinstated from the 10-day injured list prior to Tuesday night’s series opener against the Pirates. Rookie Dane Dunning will start on Wednesday night.
Aside from those two, the rotation remains in a state of flux. No probable starters have been announced for this weekend’s series against the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field, with the White Sox potentially waiting to see how Dallas Keuchel’s back responds.
Keuchel exited Sunday’s victory in Kansas City after five innings and only 49 pitches when his back locked up while he fielded a comebacker to the mound. The veteran southpaw, who has a 4-0 record and a 1.52 ERA over his last five starts, seemed optimistic after Sunday's game that he'd be able to take the mound on Saturday night with one extra day’s rest. Manager Rick Renteria took more of a cautious, wait-and-see approach during Tuesday’s Zoom session.
“I won’t be able to give you anything definitive until after we sit down and talk today,” Renteria said. “So far, he went out there and tried to do his normal routine. But we’ll have to have a discussion.”
In addition to forming a solid one-two punch with staff ace Lucas Giolito -- a needed pairing at the top of a postseason pitching alignment -- Keuchel has proven to be a valuable leader.
“He's doing a great job by leading by example, being vocal when he needs to, and he's pushing guys in the right direction,” González said. “Keuchel plays the good cop/bad cop situation where every now and then, he'll get on you for slacking a little bit.
“That's what we need in this clubhouse. Sometimes you need a good kick in the behind to kind of get going in the right direction.”
Carlos Rodón, who went on the IL with a sore left shoulder after an Aug. 3 start in Milwaukee, had a 60-pitch session at the team’s alternate training facility in Schaumburg, Ill. Renteria was unable to provide any update as to when Rodón would throw next, adding that he’s being monitored and getting treatment.
González, who last pitched on Aug. 22, when he threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings against the Cubs, was out of action due to a strained right groin. His arm feels strong, and Renteria mentioned that he was stretched out to two innings in Schaumburg before replacing rookie reliever Zack Burdi, who was optioned to the alternate training site.
It’s all about how many outs a pitcher can give the White Sox for Renteria, not so much how many innings. So González, who was described by Renteria as the staff’s “Swiss Army Knife,” is once again ready for anything.
“I've gotten to a point where now, the final stretch, you want to do whatever you can to be a part of this,” said the 34-year-old González, who is 1-1 with a 5.11 ERA and 26 strikeouts over 24 2/3 innings in 2020. “The guys have made it very entertaining to play this year. It's fun to see what they're doing, and you want to go out there and try to be a part of that, celebrating what you're doing after the games and winning the games.
“I want to be a part of that as much as I can, and whatever role I've got to do, I just want to pitch and get some outs. Obviously, I want to play for the White Sox. I haven't played with them since I've been drafted, so this is a great opportunity to be part of something special, and hopefully, it continues to stay that way.”