Sox to call up pitching prospect Giolito; team snaps five-game skid
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Lucas Giolito, come on up.
The White Sox’ up-and-coming right-hander is next in the slow but sure trickle of prospects joining the major-league club as this season winds down.
Following second baseman Yoan Moncada on July 19 and right-hander Reynaldo Lopez on Aug. 11, Giolito is scheduled to make his Sox debut in a doubleheader Monday against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field. Which of the two games Giolito will start is to be determined, manager Rick Renteria said.
The Sox also announced the promotion of right-hander Michael Kopech from Class AA Birmingham, where he has performed like the top pitching prospect he is, to Class AAA Charlotte. Kopech will pitch for the Knights on Monday.
But most of the focus that day will be on Giolito (6-10, 4.48 ERA at Charlotte), who once was considered the Nationals’ top pitching prospect. He was acquired with Lopez and right-hander Dane Dunning in a trade for outfielder Adam Eaton during the winter meetings in December, one day after Kopech was acquired with Moncada and two other prospects from the Red Sox for left-hander Chris Sale.
Giolito had to regroup after compiling a 6.75 ERA in 21„ innings over six appearances, including four starts, for the Nationals last season. He seems to be on to something, with a 3-1 record and a 1.71 ERA in his last five starts at Charlotte.
‘‘When you look at fastball command, that will kind of let you know how close they are [to being major-league-ready],’’ Sox director of player development Chris Getz said. ‘‘He’s improved in that area. He has been repeating his delivery. He has really competed out there and is keeping things simple.’’
Meanwhile, a much less heralded prospect continued to demand attention in the Sox’ 4-3 victory Friday against the Rangers. Nicky Delmonico belted two go-ahead home runs, the second an inside-the-parker against Ricky Rodriguez that caromed off the right-field wall and back toward the infield to break a 3-3 tie in the eighth. The first was a two-run shot against Andrew Cashner in the sixth.
The only player in Sox history to reach base safely in each of his first 13 games, Delmonico (.382, five homers, 11 RBI) tried starting a new streak in his 15th game since being called up from Charlotte.
Right-hander James Shields allowed two runs and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings. He has allowed three, three and two earned runs in his last three starts.
Giolito’s similarly good recent uptick was encouraging to pitching coach Don Cooper, who saw a considerable talent struggling to locate pitches consistently.
‘‘He’s a good arm acquired in a big trade,’’ Cooper said Friday. ‘‘In spring training, we saw the good arm. We were looking for more strikes, he’s throwing more and more strikes and he’s earned [the promotion].
‘‘I did happen to see him on TV the other night. He looked calm, collected and was dropping all of his stuff in there for strikes, which is the first prerequisite to come here. You gotta be able to throw it over [the plate].
‘‘The rebuilding process continues with [left-handed reliever Aaron] Bummer coming here, with Lopez coming here and now with Giolito.’’
The 21-year-old Kopech, who has been outstanding at Birmingham with an 8-7 record, 2.87 ERA and 155 strikeouts and 60 walks in 119„ innings, is on track to get his first taste of the big leagues in 2018. His previous career high for innings pitched was 65 for the Red Sox’ Class A Greenville affiliate in 2015.
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