CHICAGO -- The tightness in White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie's left hamstring worsened enough Friday that the team ordered an MRI.Lawrie, the White Sox's starting second baseman, left in the fourth inning of a series-opener against the Tigers on Thursday, a rain-shortened 2-1 loss. Manager Robin Ventura and Lawrie
CHICAGO -- The tightness in White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie's left hamstring worsened enough Friday that the team ordered an MRI.
Lawrie, the White Sox's starting second baseman, left in the fourth inning of a series-opener against the Tigers on Thursday, a rain-shortened 2-1 loss. Manager Robin Ventura and Lawrie both felt the injury was minor following the game, but that changed in less than 24 hours when Lawrie wasn't included in the starting lineup.
After a 7-5 loss to the Tigers on Friday, Ventura said a disabled list sint was unlikely and that Lawrie could return to the starting lineup as soon as Saturday.
Lawrie first felt the tightness before the game Thursday. Prior to starting the game, he came back into the White Sox's clubhouse and tried to get it loosened up. Lawrie played the first three innings, going 0-for-1, before he was replaced by Saladino to start the fourth.
"Nobody knows your body like you know yourself," Lawrie said Thursday night. "That being said, I know what's going on with myself and I know how I feel, so when I go out there and I know that I can't compete at  percent, then that for me is like, 'Well, maybe I need to take a step back and deal with this before it gets to a point where I'm gone for a month or a month and a half.'"
Losing Lawrie for extended time would be another challenge for the White Sox to overcome. He's hitting .248 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs, and has played solid defense. He'd also become the fifth player on the 15-day disabled list if that becomes necessary.
Lawrie was listed on the lineup card as an option off the bench, but prior to the game Ventura wasn't sure when he'd next be available.
"If he can't go today, you get a little vulnerable with only the three [middle infielders] we have," Ventura said. "We're getting him checked out to see possibly how many days it will be."
In the meantime, Saladino will get more playing time. After handling a starting role for most of last season's second half, the second-year infielder has adjusted to filling in off the bench. He came into the game Friday hitting .263 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in just 139 at-bats.
"It's like anything, whatever your job is, you're going to find a way to do the best you can at it," Saladino said. "That's the bottom line. I just like to be reliable [and] make sure they can count on me."
• It's been less than a week since Ventura flip-flopped Tim Anderson and Adam Eaton at the top of the order, hitting Anderson second and Eaton first, but so far the manager likes how it looks. Anderson, who isn't quite as selective at the plate, drove in Chicago's lone run on Thursday with a single that scored Eaton. "Adam is getting on there and Timmy is a free-swinger," Ventura said. "It worked [Thursday] to be able to get us a run. Right now, it's just a nice spot for us to have a little left-right, back-and-forth."
• Ventura said the White Sox will be challenged to keep their focus amid trade speculation about veterans prior to the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline. Reports began to circulate Thursday about the White Sox mulling the option of becoming sellers, and general manager Rick Hahn didn't rule out that possibility. "It's always tough," Ventura said. "You sit there and guys hear it, guys read it. It's tough to really put it out of your mind, but you have to be able to do it."
• Former White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who retired in 2014 after playing 16 seasons in Chicago, hosted a private chat with fans on Friday, helping to promote a shirt that he designed. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder.
Brian Hedger is a contributor for MLB.com based in Chicago.