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White Sox evaluating Eloy, López after exits

@scottmerkin
July 26, 2020

CHICAGO -- Starting pitcher Reynaldo López and left fielder Eloy Jiménez left the White Sox 14-2 loss to the Twins on Sunday afternoon before two innings were complete at Guaranteed Rate Field. López exited with right shoulder tightness with two outs in the first, and Jiménez came off the field

CHICAGO -- Starting pitcher Reynaldo López and left fielder Eloy Jiménez left the White Sox 14-2 loss to the Twins on Sunday afternoon before two innings were complete at Guaranteed Rate Field.

López exited with right shoulder tightness with two outs in the first, and Jiménez came off the field because of light-headedness.

Jiménez didn’t seem to be moving very well on a second-inning double to left-center by Eddie Rosario. Jiménez was feeling better by the time Rick Renteria started his postgame Zoom call, according to the White Sox manager. López will be re-evaluated on Monday.

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“This is the first time that something like that has happened to me,” López said through interpreter Billy Russo. “Hopefully, it’s not something serious. I’m always positive. I’m always thinking in a positive way. With God’s blessing, everything is going to be OK.”

Minnesota scored four runs in the first inning against López, courtesy of Jake Cave’s opposite-field grand slam. Jiménez chased that drive, appeared to run into one of the posts on the outfield fence and fell to the ground. He remained in the game after being checked by Renteria and the training staff.

Meanwhile, López was gone after grimacing and bending over on the mound following the seventh pitch to Marwin Gonzalez on a 3-2 count. According to López, the shoulder pain was present from the start.

“The pain was increasing with every pitch. It was more difficult every pitch,” López said. “The pain didn’t let me fully concentrate in the game or every pitch.

“It’s very difficult to pitch when you’re feeling something like that. I tried to battle through it. When you’re there, you’re just trying to do your job and try to battle. At some point, there’s nothing else that you can do. I just wanted to get through that inning.”

Gio González, who threw his first pitch as a member of the White Sox and allowed six runs over 3 2/3 innings, replaced López and struck out Marwin Gonzalez with one pitch to end the frame and strand two runners. López threw 38 pitches, just 19 for strikes. He topped out at 94.4 mph with his fastball, per Statcast, which is lower than usually expected from the right-hander.

Renteria didn’t see any indicator of issues with López. All his side work during Summer Camp and even his warmup Sunday looked good.

“I know everybody talks about the velocity, and it looked like it was down,” Renteria said. “He has done that before, and all of the sudden he picks it up. So there was nothing there for me to consider that it was an issue, to be honest.

“When we ultimately went out there, we saw a little more of a grimace in the particular moment, which is why we went out with a trainer. In talking to him, he just said he felt uncomfortable, and we led him off the mound. I hope it has more to do with he just failed to execute. We'll check him out. We'll make sure he's OK.”

Gio González would “absolutely” be a rotation possibility, Renteria said, if López misses his next trip to the mound.

Jiménez checked out OK and is more of a day-to-day situation as the White Sox embark on an eight-game road trip starting in Cleveland.

“Hopefully, it's more to do with staying hydrated and things of that nature,” Renteria said of Jiménez. “I would venture to say that I'm sure that it's going to be, hopefully, I expect, positive, in terms of how they recover from either one of the two items that they're dealing with. But we'll know more tomorrow.”

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