CHICAGO – There was good news and bad news on the injury front for the White Sox on Tuesday. Having the good news, though, represents a step ahead for an American League Central-leading squad which has battled physical maladies across its lineup all season.
The good news: Shortstop Tim Anderson was reinstated from the 10-day injured list, as was right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito. Anderson was hitting first against the Angels, while Giolito was on the mound.
The bad news? Rookie outfielder Andrew Vaughn was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to Sept. 10) with lower back inflammation. And shortly after Vaughn met with the media, right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right index finger laceration.
Tepera explained the injury stemmed from grabbing the door frame at his apartment during Monday’s off-day, turning the corner and slicing his finger open. The cut is about one centimeter big, and is sensitive, per Tepera.
It didn’t take long for Tepera to realize he needs that finger to pitch affectively.
“That was the first thing that came to mind was, 'Oh, man, it's going to affect me pitching,’” Tepera said. “ And I don't know what's going to happen. I think the worst. I thought it was a lot deeper when it happened last night. I'm like, ‘Crap, I'm going to miss the rest of the season and playoffs and stuff.’ The worst thing goes through your head. But talking to the trainers and looking at it today, it's not as bad as I originally thought. No stitches, and day-by-day.”
This particular recovery will be a day-by-day, feel sort of thing, as pointed out by Tepera when asked if he’s afraid the issue could linger.
“Hopefully it heals right, and I don't have any kind of numbness or sensitivity or anything.” Tepera said. “I don't think it will.”
Vaughn has never had a back issue previously. So, when it started to tighten up and stiffen, he took notice and told the training staff.
“It was to the point where it felt like something was going to happen,” Vaughn said. “It was midway through that [Oakland] series started to feel it a little bit. I thought it was something I could stretch out. But I got back off the flight and felt like it locked up and went in and got it looked at.”
With the White Sox magic number to clinch the AL Central sitting at nine entering Tuesday, they can afford to be careful with their players. The goal is to get everyone as healthy as possible for the postseason.
“Yeah, I mean it’s a bad thing. I don’t like it. I don’t want to be hurt or missing any time with my team,” Vaughn said. “I think definitely it’s better to happen now than the playoffs. Looking forward to progressing and getting back out there.”
Catcher Zack Collins was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte as part of the six moves made by the White Sox Tuesday morning. Catcher Seby Zavala was optioned to Charlotte among those moves.
“We met with Seby today, pitching coaches and Jerry [Narron] and myself and made sure he knew this is a move that isn't anything negative about him,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “We've been eyeballing Seby, we're going to eyeball Zack. Nobody has any kind of commitment or promise, assuming we get that number down to zero and we're actually in October. This gives us a chance to take a fresh look at Zack and at the same time Seby's going to be playing every day down there, which keeps him in shape. But it's not as much fun for him, he was having more fun here. We confronted it as best we could, honestly.”
Collins caught Carlos Rodón’s no-hitter against Cleveland on April 14, when Rodón lost a perfect game in the ninth. He is slashing .202/.324/.331 with 11 doubles, four home runs, 24 RBIs and 23 runs scored over 72 games this season with the White Sox and had every day playing time with the Knights to sharpen everything.
“You’re not going to turn a season around the last half month,” Collins said. “Especially playing as a backup. But my goal is to go in there and whenever I have the opportunity, help the team win and get as many W's as we can.”