Dane Dunning might need Tommy John surgery, White Sox GM Rick Hahn says
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox are fearing the worst but hoping for the best for right-hander Dane Dunning.
Dunning, the Sox’ sixth-ranked prospect, will be evaluated Monday for the second time since he abruptly stopped his throwing program two weeks ago due to discomfort in his right forearm, general manager Rick Hahn said Wednesday.
“Everything is on the table including a potential Tommy John surgery,” Hahn said.
Last season, Dunning’s season ended prematurely after he sprained his right elbow. Before he was shut down, Dunning, whom the Sox acquired with right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the Nationals for Adam Eaton in 2016, looked strong and went 6-3 with a 2.71 ERA in 86⅓ innings with Class AA Birmingham.
Dunning returned to the mound in September for the Instructional League in Arizona, and the Sox expected him to be healthy in time for spring training. But the Sox had to shut him down after his elbow pain began to flare up last month.
Meanwhile, outfielder Luis Basabe, the No. 7 prospect in the Sox’ farm system, had surgery this week to remove a broken left hamate bone. Though he’s expected to be out for four to six weeks, Basabe won’t be able to return to full baseball activities for 12 weeks.
Ervin Santana update
On a more positive note, Hahn said right-hander Ervin Santana has shown progress in his throwing program.
“We do feel good about where he’s at right now,” Hahn said. “He’s climbing. . . . Just this morning he was explaining how good he feels. We have got him on a very precise program. You will see him in a game in the next week or so and build from there.”
Though he hasn’t pitched in a Cactus League game, Santana is a leading candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation. Hahn is optimistic that Santana, whom the Sox signed to a minor-league deal in February, could be ready by the time they have to decide the fifth spot on April 10. If he’s not ready, the Sox could turn to left-hander Manny Banuelos.
Santana won 16 games for the Twins during his All-Star season in 2017 but missed the majority of last season after he had surgery on his right middle finger last February.
Osich’s winding road to the Sox
The Sox will be left-hander Josh Osich’s third team this spring training, and he’s hoping to stay put.
Osich, whom the Sox claimed from the Orioles on Monday, started this spring with the Giants, with whom he played the last four seasons. After they designated him for assignment, the Orioles claimed him, and he spent 2½ weeks at their camp before he got designated for assignment again.
He briefly went back to his home in Maine before heading back to Arizona for Sox camp.
“It’s just part of the game,” he said. “You can’t get mad about it.
‘‘Obviously the other two teams, the Orioles gave me a chance, and then after two weeks, they didn’t want me anymore. So the White Sox gave me a chance, so you have to stay positive.’’