Hahn explained the situation with Cease, who is currently scheduled to start Friday’s series opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, as a precautionary move.
“Dylan has not tested positive for COVID,” Hahn said. “However, out of an abundance of caution, or arguably the appropriate amount of caution, we are going to keep Dylan away from the club until he can be cleared based on the fact that he does have a couple of symptoms at this time.
“So, the length of Dylan’s stay on the injured list is still to be determined. We are obviously hoping that it will be a brief one. But this is why the list exists, and we are going to utilize it to help protect the group.”
There is no close contact work to be done in regard to Cease and the rest of the team at this time, per Hahn. Cease theoretically could return Thursday, but Hahn does not expect a move tomorrow.
“Hopefully by the weekend, if everything goes smoothly we could conceivably have a move. I don’t want to get too far out in front in terms of speculation,” Hahn said. “We are dealing with something that surrounds us and is still at some level unknown to many of us. But at this time, other than having a couple of symptoms, there’s not reason to believe it’s more than that with regards to Dylan.”
“You prepare for the worst, hope for the best,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Hopefully it’s like Carlos [Rodón], a little flu symptoms and he’s OK to pitch Friday. Have to wait and see. We’ll deal with it.”
Contingency plans are in place for Cease’s start Friday, but Hahn chose to keep those plans internal until a decision is made. La Russa added those contingency plans won’t change how he manages the games on Wednesday and Thursday against Cleveland.
“You’ve got to win the game that you’re playing, whether it’s early, middle or late,” La Russa said. “These next two games, everybody that’s available. … Now some guys are not available. Everybody that is available is going to pitch, do what we can to win them, and then we get to Friday.”
Anderson returns Thursday
Tim Anderson will be activated from the 10-day injured list and start Thursday afternoon’s series finale against Cleveland. Anderson tested his left hamstring strain one final time at the Schaumburg training facility Wednesday.
“I got a text from Wes [Helms] about his work and everything was outstanding, check-marked to the box,” La Russa said. “He says he moved great, took a bunch of ground balls, threw the ball, no problems fielding.
“Took a bunch of batting practice and then took five at-bats, ran the bases. He said he looks great and ready to go. He’ll be in the starting lineup tomorrow and we will welcome him back with open arms.”
Engel getting close
Despite a setback in his recovery from a right hamstring strain sustained at the end of Spring Training, outfielder Adam Engel believes the next White Sox homestand beginning April 23 is a reasonable target for return.
“This is my first ever hamstring problem, so I’m kind of learning what I can and can’t do with it,” Engel said. “Definitely being much more cautious this time around.
“Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way in that regard. But making really good progress. I’ve had a lot of really good days in a row now. So I’m very optimistic.”
Third to first
• Single-game tickets in seating pods for Chicago’s next homestand go on sale to the general public on Friday at 11 a.m. CT. The homestand runs from April 23 to May 2, with three games against Texas, three against Detroit and three against Cleveland.
• Lucas Giolito joined Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage (April 13-May 5, 1976) as the only pitchers in White Sox history to strike out eight-plus batters in each of his first three starts of a season. Giolito is 2-0 with an 0.89 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings (six starts) against the Indians since 2019.
They said it
“It’s not discouraging at all. We’ve played how many games now? Eleven? There’s a lot of season left.” — Giolito on the team’s 5-6 start entering Wednesday, adding the White Sox need to get some guys healthy