KANSAS CITY -- Lucas Giolito has a pretty basic plan for what he needs to do in September in order to be ready to pitch during the White Sox first back-to-back playoff appearance in franchise history.
“For me, it would be that I'm on the 10-day, I come off as soon as I'm able to come off and make as many starts that fit into the rest of the schedule until playoffs,” said Giolito during a Friday pregame Zoom. “That's pretty much it.”
Giolito already was expected to miss his next start in Oakland after leaving Tuesday’s game in the fifth inning with a strained left hamstring. But the White Sox guaranteed that absence Friday by placing him on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 1, and recalling right-hander Ryan Burr from Triple-A Charlotte.
When Giolito first sustained the injury, the right-hander said it was reminiscent of a left hamstring strain in 2019 that kept him out of action from April 18 to May 1. But this issue was less intense, and Giolito already is making progress through his Friday catch session.
“Yesterday felt pretty good with super light catch. Yesterday I was protecting it a little bit,” Giolito said. “And then today I felt like I took a big step forward. I was able to put a lot on the ball. At the same time, not going crazy with leg drive, being a little relaxed in the legs, but I was able to let some go pretty good.
“Running was calculated, but that felt good as well. We have time on our side. I'm not out there trying to push it as hard as I can. Just letting the rest work, the [physical therapy] work, all that, do its thing and keep progressing day by day.”
The 2019 hamstring injury led to Giolito making a more conscious effort to be smooth with his delivery finish. It’s something that really worked for Giolito, as he pointed out Friday.
“I didn’t change anything about my stuff. And I guess that over the years I’ve gotten back to kind of letting that slide and getting too aggressive, a little too stiff,” Giolito said. “So, I think that’s maybe what contributed to this happening. Luckily, it’s super mild, so I’ll probably make a similar type of adjustment. It’s not difficult to do.”
If all goes well, Giolito will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday in Oakland, and the White Sox can reassess at that point. Lance Lynn is currently on the injured list, as well, leaving the White Sox rotation with Dallas Keuchel, Reynaldo López and Dylan Cease this weekend against the Royals and then a decision to make on the West Coast.
“We're just going to see what kind of usage we have,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “We did add Burr rather than a position player to make sure we're deep enough in our bullpen for these three games.
“Just don't want to pressure him to declare himself ready before he's really ready and err on the side of caution. He's saying it's going to be one start, but we've just got to be really certain because if we rush him back and he gets hurt, that's the worst consequence.”
Gonzalez debut could come Saturday
With Royals southpaw Daniel Lynch on the mound Saturday, infielder Romy Gonzalez could be in line for his first Major League start. His parents, grandparents and many of his friends will be in attendance.
“Everybody was ready to come [Wednesday] but obviously I wasn't playing,” Gonzalez said. “It's going to be crazy.”
Third to first
• With Jason Benetti calling college football on ESPN Friday night, Chicago Bulls broadcasters Adam Amin and Stacey King took over the call on NBCSportsChicago for the series opener. Steve Stone is off for this six-game road trip to Kansas City and Oakland, with Gordon Beckham filling in for Stone.
• The White Sox have been in first place for 121 days and every day since May 7, their most in one season since 2012 (126 days). They have led the division by 10-plus games for all but five days since Aug. 7.
• Toronto claimed infielder/outfielder Jake Lamb off waivers. Lamb was designated for assignment by the White Sox on Sept. 1.
They said it
“Going through these kinds of things, whether it be injuries or a slump or whatever, at the end of the day, it only makes us stronger. We learn from all that, learn how to manage our bodies, manage our minds, and I’m feeling very good about our situation as the month progresses.” -- Giolito.