Reynaldo Lopez expected to make White Sox debut Friday
BOSTON — Signs have been pointing to a White Sox debut Friday for Class AAA right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, and general manager Rick Hahn all but confirmed it Saturday.
‘‘Reynaldo is going to start [Sunday] for Charlotte, and after that start, we’ll make an evaluation about what’s best in terms of his next steps,’’ Hahn said.
‘‘He is certainly forcing the issue and seems to be ready for that next step. Right now, our plan is for him to start for Charlotte, then you can ask me on Tuesday.’’
The Sox open a homestand Tuesday with three games against the Astros, then host the Royals for a weekend series starting Friday. Hahn generally meets with the media on the first day of homestands, and he’s expected to announce Tuesday that Lopez will be called up.
Hahn told a gathering at a sabermetrics seminar Saturday to ‘‘maybe buy tickets for Friday night’’ when asked about Lopez, 23, who had a 2.10 ERA and 38 strikeouts in five starts and 30 innings in July. He is rated by MLB.com and Baseball America as the No. 59 prospect in baseball.
Hahn cited a recent decent run by right-hander Lucas Giolito (4-10, 4.95 ERA) and indicated he’ll be called up before long, too.
Lopez and Giolito, who were acquired in the trade for Adam Eaton, were Class AAA call-ups by the Nationals last season.
Lopez was named the Sox’ minor-league pitcher of the month, and Class A Winston-Salem outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the No. 7 prospect in baseball acquired in the deal that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs, shared player-of-the-month honors with Charlotte infielder Jake Peter.
Jimenez might be in line for a promotion to Class AA Birmingham before the season is over.
‘‘You have that internal debate: Do you let them finish the successful year at the level they have been at all year, or do you give them a taste of where they’re going to start at next season?’’ Hahn said.
Jimenez batted .356 with four home runs, seven doubles and 14 RBI in 17 games with the Dash in July.
Avi wants to be part of rebuild
All-Star outfielder Avisail Garcia, who hasn’t played since July 25 because of a sprained right thumb, took batting practice for a second consecutive day and said he’s very close to being ready to return, although he still has ‘‘a very little bit of inflammation.’’
‘‘But I feel way better,’’ he said.
Garcia, 26, hopes to be part of the Sox’ rebuild.
‘‘I mean, yeah, why not?’’ he said. ‘‘I feel part of it. But you know this is baseball. You don’t know what’s going to happen. I want to stay here. I want my career here. So if I can play 15 or 20 years or 10 years or five more years, it’s going to be great. Let’s see what happens.’’
Because of knee, thumb and finger injuries and a slump he took into the All-Star break, Garcia has only 11 hits since June 23. He’s batting .303 with 13 homers and 54 RBI.
Davidson still hampered
Third baseman Matt Davidson (right wrist) took ground balls and batting practice, but there’s a chance he’ll miss the entire series in Boston.
‘‘He still feels it in a motion or two, but we know there’s nothing structurally wrong,’’ manager Rick Renteria said.
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