White Sox manager Rick Renteria allowed himself to peer into 2020 and ran off some names that sprung to mind for his future rotation – notable as much for whom it included as for whom it didn’t.
“We have some kids who are working and coming back with [Michael] Kopech and when we get back [Carlos] Rodon and you’ve got [Dylan] Cease down there and we’ve got [Dane] Dunning, who’s recovering. We have some young arms that are going to be filtering this way,” Renteria said before Tuesday’s game against the Nationals, whose fine corps of starters includes Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and impressive youngster Erick Fedde.
“You tip your cap to those kids they’ve got over there because they’re pretty good,” Renteria continued. “So hopefully we have that type of staff developing as we continue to move forward [and] they’ll be as effective as those guys have been.”
Renteria said the Sox already have the makings of a starting pitching foundation in the current clubhouse, but it’s hard to envision anyone beyond All-Star candidate Lucas Giolito and perhaps Reynaldo Lopez – and that’s mainly based on the possibility of Lopez regaining his 2018 form.
Manny Banuelos hasn’t exactly solidified the fifth spot. After giving up a home run to Anthony Rendon in the first inning Tuesday, Banuelos has allowed at least one homer in six of his last seven starts.
Ivan Nova, who starts today’s series opener against the Yankees coming off two straight losses, also may be a placeholder.
Dylan Covey has made modest gains this season before being placed on the injured list this week, but he could be destined for a bullpen role.
Lopez (6.21 ERA) is considered a key part of the future rotation but has had a ragged start to the 2019 season.
Still, the Sox are staying the course with Lopez as opposed to sending him down to Triple-A Charlotte for a tune-up.
“The reality is, what better place [is there] to be?” Renteria asked. “We’re not going to be able to replicate all the scenarios he’s going through.
“If that were to happen [where he’s sent down], it would probably be to allow someone to regroup emotionally and mentally. And in some instances, he still has the capability to do that here.”
The Sox’s willingness to start journeyman Odrisamer Despaigne on short notice Monday instead of bringing up Cease showed they’re not going to rush Cease before their timeline for him – similar to how they handled Kopech before his anticipated debut last August.
That doesn’t mean Sox fans won’t get antsy in the meantime, like they were with Kopech.
“The frustration? Yeah, I can imagine that,” Renteria said. “There’s the perception and the reality of where we’re at in terms of players. … Everybody is trying to do the best that they can to put them in a position that when they get here, they’re in the best possible position to have success.”
Moncada sits: Yoan Moncada was out of Tuesday night’s lineup. Jose Rondon replaced him at third base.
Rondon took over for Moncada on Monday night after Moncada left in the seventh with back tightness, which Renteria attributed to his swing.
Moncada had back spasms, but Renteria didn’t consider the condition to be significant.
“He’s day to day,” he said. “He’s doing better today. Has a mid-lat/back strain. We’ll continue to monitor him.”
Foul-ball update: The woman who was hospitalized after being hit by an Eloy Jimenez foul ball in the fourth Monday has been treated and released, according to a Sox official.
“They came by this morning to pick up [her] car, she and a friend,” said Scott Reifert, vice president of communications. “We’ve left a couple of messages as an organization but we haven’t heard back. Obviously we hope for a quick recovery.”
Reifert said the team plans to invite the woman back to the ballpark.