Avisail Garcia will get a good look in the field down the stretch, which should make the 25-year-old right fielder happy. While he didn’t voice it until recently, Garcia didn’t care for the DH role he took over during the first part of the season.
The Sox activated Garcia from the disabled list Tuesday and manager Robin Ventura inserted him into the lineup at right field, where he has struggled during his two-plus seasons – even though he led the major leagues with 17 outfield assists in 2015.
“We want to see him get out there and get better,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.
“Defensively he’s got some work to do but he can get to the point where he can be there, an outfielder you want to have in the outfield and have some confidence in.’’
Garcia went on the DL on Aug. 9 after spraining his right knee stretching in the on-deck circle. He was hitting .240 with nine homers and 36 RBI in 86 games, including 5-for-15 with three homers before the injury and returned with a 1-for-4 night with a double run scored and two strikeouts.
“Offensively he has come a long way where he was earlier in the year,’’ Ventura said. He’s got some power numbers starting to trend in a good direction.’’
Garcia says being active in the outfield keeps him in a better frame of mind and has positive effects on his hitting. He said the knee is 100 percent.
“Feeling good, no pain, nothing,’’ he said. “Just happy to be back and playing again.’’
Jason Coats was returned to Charlotte to make room for Garcia.
Rodon at his best
Carlos Rodon pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings of three-hit ball in the Sox’ 9-1 victory over the Phillies. Rodon, who struck out four, walked one and retired 10 straight batters in one stretch, is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in four starts this month.
Trainer Herm Schneider is busy nonetheless. Brett Lawrie (hamstring) returned from his minor league rehab stint with a sore quad and is undergoing more tests.
“He hasn’t played enough to make it through a game so there’s something going on there,’’ Ventura said.
He hasn’t played enough to make it through a game so there’s something going on there.*Miguel Gonzalez (groin) threw off a mound Friday and will throw another bullpen session Wednesday. He appears close to pitching in a minor league game.
*Tyler Saladino missed his fourth straight start after his back locked up on him but says it’s “feeling better” with each passing day.
Good look at Narvaez
Alex Avila (hamstring) is doing his rehab at Charlotte, but it remains to be seen how much of the catching workload he’ll handle when he gets back because left-handed hitting rookie Omar Narvaez will continue to play.
“You want to see as much of him as you can,’’ Ventura said.
Avila and Dioner Navarro are playing on one-year contracts at a position the Sox sorely need to shore up in 2017.
Watch the Burdi
First-round right-hander Zach Burdi of Downers Grove and the University of Louisville, who was on a streak of 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings over nine appearances between Charlotte and AA Birmingham, had 25 strikeouts and five hits allowed during that stretch.“Just an electric arm,’’ said Nick Capra, the Sox director of player development. “He’s touched 100-plus several times. If he stays over the ball, he’s dynamite. Good slider, good putaway pitch. He has been impressive.’’Capra said Burdi “is close” to being major league ready.
*Right-hander Alec Hansen, a second-round pick, was promoted to Class A Kannapolis. Hansen extended his scoreless streak to 23 innings for Advanced Rookie Great Falls. He was 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 70 strikeouts over 10 starts between the AZL White Sox and Great Falls.
“A couple of mechanical changes” were made with the 6-7 Hansen, Capra said. “Small issues he had coming in. He’s really taken off with it.”
*Tyler Danish, who was up with the big club for a short time this season, is expected to make a full recovery after season ending surgery, Capra said.
Abreu on streak
Jose Abreu homered for the third straight game, and Justin Morneau followed with a homer in the Sox’ three-run fifth inning against Phillies right-hander Jake Thompson Tuesday. Tim Anderson drove in two runs with an RBI groundout and triple in his first two at-bats as the Sox rolled to a 7-0 lead behind left-hander Carlos Rodon.
Ventura said after the game that Abreu has been bothered somewhat by a hamstring issue.
“His hands have been working great lately,” Ventura said. “Even with the pulled hammy he did the other day, he kind of tweaked it. He looks good at the plate. This is as good as he’s looked all year as far as not chasing stuff. He just looks good.”