The White Sox starting rotation, already thin after ace Lucas Giolito, lost perhaps its second-best pitcher Sunday with right-hander Dylan Covey landing on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to June 6) with right shoulder inflammation.
Covey, 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA in nine games (seven starts), said Sunday he has been working through soreness his last few starts, and he maxed out at 77 pitches in his last one Wednesday when he threw five innings of two-run ball against the Nationals. He said an MRI showed “nothing alarming.” He’ll be examined Monday in Chicago.
“Kind of been battling some inflammation I guess,” Covey said. “Every four days between starts I’d be getting closer and by the fifth day be good. This last time around couldn’t get that to happen.”
While not yet official, Odrisamer Despaigne, a 32-year-old right-hander who has fared well in four games including three starts at Charlotte, will start in Covey’s place Monday against the Nationals. Despaigne, who has made 47 starts with four major league teams, has a 2.00 ERA with 16 strikeouts and four walks over 18 innings at Charlotte. The Sox signed Despaigne on May 19.
Manny Banuelos, skipped in the rotation last week with two off days on the schedule, is likely for Tuesday.
Right-handed reliever Thyago Vieira was recalled from Class AAA Charlotte Sunday, but he could return to make room for Despaigne.
Waiting on Cease
Manager Rick Renteria said top pitching prospect Dylan Cease wasn’t considered to join the rotation in Covey’s absence.
“Just so everybody is aware it won’t by Dylan Cease,” Renteria said Sunday, anticipating a question, “so if there is any speculation we can nip that in the bud right now. Dylan will continue to work on what he’s working on down there and when it’s time for him to be here he will be here but it will not be Dylan Cease.”
Cease was pulled from his start Sunday for Charlotte after needing 40 pitches (20 strikes) to get two outs. He allowed four earned runs on two hits and three walks. The Sox typically limit prospects to 40 pitches in an inning, which may explain the early hook.
Before the outing, Renteria said the time isn’t right for his major league debut “because he’s still working.”
“We still have guys down there that want him to continue to do things that puts him in as good a place as possible before he joins us,” Renteria said.
Cease could be called up around the All-Star break, however. But it’s safe to say the Sox will avoid introducing him to the majors during a rugged second half of June when they play the Yankees, Cubs, Rangers, Red Sox and Twins.
Ryan Burr update
Right-hander Ryan Burr (elbow capsule strain) said he will have his elbow re-examined by team physician Nihkil Verma Monday.
“It’s something strange, something that is not right,” Burr said. “We’re waiting to see if it takes care of itself. So [Monday] is like the big day, I guess, when we figure out which route we’re going to go.
“I really don’t want to get surgery. If that’s what the doctor says, that’s what the doctor says.”
Burr, who made the Opening Day roster, pitched to a 4.58 ERA ERA in 16 games covering 19 2⁄3 innings.