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White Sox’ Dallas Keuchel penciled in to face Twins next week

“But we won’t know that for sure until he gets back up on the mound here and does his normal between-starts routine starting early next week,” general manager Rick Hahn said Friday.

White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photos

General manager Rick Hahn said Dallas Keuchel is progressing and is penciled in to start the fourth game of the White Sox’ series against the Twins on Thursday, the day Keuchel (back spasms) is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list.

“But we won’t know that for sure until he gets back up on the mound here and does his normal between-starts routine starting early next week,” Hahn said Friday.

“Obviously, having Dallas right for the postseason is priority one.”

Hahn said Keuchel, who was scheduled to start Saturday against the Tigers but went on the 10-day IL on Thursday (retroactive to Sept. 7), probably wanted to pitch through it.

“But it’s our job to sort of take that longer-term view and make sure we get everything lined up the way we need it lined up for greater success than just a one- or two-start stretch here in September,” Hahn said.

Lopez starts Saturday

Reynaldo Lopez, recalled from Schaumburg on Thursday, will start in Keuchel’s turn Saturday.

“Hopefully, it’s an efficient outing for him, whatever it is that he gives us,” manager Rick Renteria said.

Lopez (0-2, 8.38 ERA) has allowed 14 hits and eight walks in 9⅔ innings and has not pitched more than four innings in his four starts. He owns a 3.65 career ERA in 12 starts against the Tigers.

Hope for Bummer, Rodon

If left-handers Aaron Bummer and Carlos Rodon return from injuries, it likely won’t happen until the last week of the season.

Rodon, working his way back from a sore shoulder, was sidelined at Schaumburg with inflammation in his back/rib cage, Hahn said, but is slated to throw Monday and could return “in some capacity.”

The biceps strain that sidelined Bummer has healed, but he is working through a nerve issue. Getting him back in his role as a seventh- and eighth-inning stopper would be a huge lift, and “he has hit every milestone, so he remains on track to potentially rejoin us at some point on that final road trip [in Cincinnati and Cleveland starting next Friday],” Hahn said.

“We had him on a deliberate slow-build throwing program, one that would conceivably bring him back for the last week of the season or so.’’

A thumbs-up for Renteria

Hired by the Cubs during their rebuild and let go when Joe Maddon became available, Renteria was hired by the Sox to lead them through their rebuild. With the Sox transitioning to win mode, Renteria is still the guy to lead in Hahn’s view.

“I still fully believe he’s capable of taking us to that next step,” Hahn said.