Lucas Giolito remains the White Sox starter on Tuesday, with Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon being TBD. Keuchel’s original spot on Wednesday could go to Rodón, or Lance Lynn, who threw a shutout in Thursday’s home opener, could move up to Wednesday so Rodón could pitch Thursday afternoon.
White Sox focused on April success
The White Sox need to win in April long before they start focusing on fulfilling lofty preseason expectations of becoming World Series contenders.
That sentiment was expressed by first baseman José Abreu, closer Liam Hendriks and manager Tony La Russa during their respective Zooms on Monday. Their 4-5 record entering Monday is more a product of trying too hard, as opposed to overall bad baseball or a lack of talent.
“We set lofty goals for ourselves in Spring Training, seeing the group that is in here, and unfortunately didn’t get off to the start we needed,” Hendriks said. “When that happens you start to overanalyze, put way too much pressure on yourself, try to live up to what everyone said, and when it doesn’t happen, it just snowballs.
“So right now we need to go back to square one as a group and take it game by game. We’re not going to win the World Series now. Let’s stop talking about it. Let’s figure out how to win this series and let’s go to war.”
Hendriks allowed a game-tying, ninth-inning home run to Carlos Santana during a 4-3 Royals victory in 10 innings on Sunday, snapping a stretch of 15 straight saves dating back to July 24, 2020. The bullpen, considered by many to be the best in the game, has five losses and four blown saves.
Hitting with runners in scoring position has been the biggest issue for the offense, especially during the five losses. Per MLB Network, the White Sox are 15-for-43 with 28 RBIs and a 1.129 OPS with RISP in their four victories, and 5-for-45 with seven RBIs and a .415 OPS over their five losses in the same scenario.
Again, it’s a case of trying to drive in five runs with one hit.
“We need to be realistic here. We have nine games. Just nine games in this season,” said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. “What’s something we need to highlight we have is the connection there is in the clubhouse. The good relationship between the coaching staff and the players and how we are working together.”
Per the White Sox manager, Anderson and Hamilton “were letting it out.”
“Today is Monday,” La Russa said. “Tim’s return date is Thursday, and our expectation is he’ll start the game Thursday afternoon.”
Third to first
• Abreu has spoken to Eloy Jiménez, the slugging left fielder who is out five to six months after surgery to repair a ruptured left pectoral tendon. Abreu acknowledged Jiménez is missed in the lineup but said the slugger is upbeat and doing well.
“He knows what he needs to do during his rehab to get ready to be with us as soon as possible,” Abreu said.
• A limited number of fans will be permitted for the contest between the Cubs and White Sox alternate-site squads at Wintrust Field in Schaumburg, Ill. That capacity is 20.7 percent of Wintrust’s main seating bowl.
All tickets will be $10 and are subject to order fees and seating protocols based on location. Tickets for games go on-sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday, and they will only be available online at wintrustfield.com and boomersbaseball.com. The dates of those game are April 24 and April 28, with a 1 p.m. CT first pitch, and at noon CT on April 30. Gates open one hour prior to game time.
They Said It
“I threw some really good sliders, good curveballs for strikes. I attacked. I still need to get better count leverage, but I do feel like it’s trending in the right direction.” — Dylan Cease, on his Sunday outing in which he allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings and 90 pitches
“I respect the people that say that RBIs don’t matter. But at the end of the day, you win games by scoring runs, right? Then, it should matter.” — Abreu