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Healthy Delmonico ready to contribute

'Farmio' remembered; Chicago welcomes expanded playoffs
@scottmerkin
July 24, 2020

CHICAGO -- Nicky Delmonico is healthy, starting in right field on Opening Day for the White Sox, and feels dangerous at the plate like the rest of this 2020 squad moving from rebuild to hopeful contention. Delmonico, 28, had season-ending surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder on

CHICAGO -- Nicky Delmonico is healthy, starting in right field on Opening Day for the White Sox, and feels dangerous at the plate like the rest of this 2020 squad moving from rebuild to hopeful contention.

Delmonico, 28, had season-ending surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder on May 30, 2019, correcting an issue he tried to play through for a little more than two years. Being pain-free has made a huge difference to the left-handed hitter, who is anchoring the outfield spot with Nomar Mazara on the injured list.

“I had to change my stance so many times the past few years because I couldn't get my hands back because of certain things,” said Delmonico on Friday. “It’s nice being able to wake up every morning and be pain-free. I can't tell you what that does to you mentally and physically.

“Being able to come to the ballpark knowing that like, hey, if I get beat today, I just got beat. Knowing that I'm going to be able to play, and I'm going to be 100 percent is the biggest thing for me. The biggest thing is I can take a full, healthy hack and not hurt. Before, [when] I would swing through changeups, or even sometimes when I would connect with the ball, it would hurt.”

The surgery call was influenced by Delmonico’s game on May 5, 2019, against Boston’s Rick Porcello when Porcello threw him nothing but fastballs in three at-bats and Delmonico struck out three times.

“In this level, once that gets out that you can’t hit a fastball, it’s going to be around,” Delmonico said. “So, I realized I wasn’t doing anything to help the team and so I finally bit the bullet and was like, ‘OK, it’s time.’”

Remembering Ed Farmer
Ed Farmer, the iconic radio voice of nearly 30 years with the White Sox and beloved member of the organization who died April 1, was remembered by the team leading into Opening Day. Lucas Giolito ended his Zoom call Thursday by paying tribute to the man affectionately known as "Farmio,” and an emotional manager Rick Renteria did the same on Friday.

“I knew Eddie since 1986,” Renteria said. “You guys have all respected him and done him a great service and I just wanted to make sure that I send a shoutout to his family.

“We feel for their loss. We'll be thinking about him all the time, and we love him.”

White Sox jerseys will feature a Farmio patch on their sleeves for the season.

Expanded playoffs a hit on the South Side
Renteria voiced his support for the idea of expanded playoffs, with eight teams from each league now reaching the postseason.

“People want to see the game of baseball,” Renteria said. “Whatever agreements and how they worked them through has put everybody in position to have a little more baseball as the season comes to a close. Maybe that’s a good thing and lord willing, we’re all healthy and able to accomplish that feat.”

General manager Rick Hahn spoke Thursday in favor of how it could benefit his young team.

“From a selfish White Sox standpoint, I’m in favor of it just for the mere fact that it enhances the possibilities this group is going to get exposed to October baseball,” Hahn said. “We’ve talked over the years of this rebuild and into this next stage that learning how to win is part of that. Learning how to win in October is very much a part of getting us to our ultimate goals.”

Third to first
• Friday marks the latest Opening Day in White Sox history, breaking the previous mark of April 26 set during the strike-shortened 1995 season, and 118 days later than the 2019 opener of March 28

• The White Sox went 38-37 against the American League Central in 2019, their first winning record within the division since 2012 (37-35).

He said it
“We’ve been getting our [butts] kicked for three years, that I’ve been here. And I think we’re hungry. And I think the fans are feeling the same way too. We want to return the damage that’s been given to us. And I think that makes us dangerous. So, it’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be exciting.” -- Delmonico

Up next
Dallas Keuchel makes his White Sox debut Saturday afternoon with a first pitch of 1:10 p.m. CT at Guaranteed Rate Field against the Twins. Keuchel threw five scoreless innings in his last start, an exhibition game against the Cubs.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.