Kelvin Herrera expects return to normalcy in 2020

Kelvin Herrera is confident he can make the White Sox’ two-year commitment of $18 million look better next season.

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Reliever Kelvin Herrera had a rough outing Saturday night against the Braves.


ATLANTA — Reliever Kelvin Herrera is confident he can make the White Sox’ two-year commitment of $18 million look better next season.

It’s not looking good now with Herrera’s 7.07 ERA heading into September — more than double his career 3.17 mark. Herrera will be paid $8.5 million this year and next, an overpayment that stacks up with the figures for outfielder Jon Jay ($4 million for one season), who played in only 47 games because of a bad hip, and Yonder Alonso ($8 million contract). Alonso was acquired in an offseason trade and was released July 3.

Herrera made the Opening Day roster coming off surgery to repair a Lisfranc fracture in his left (landing) foot, which limited him to 10 games after the All-Star break in 2018. A two-time All-Star, he had a 2.44 ERA for the Royals and Nationals in ’18. But Herrera said he was never right physically because his preparation during the offseason wasn’t the same recovering from surgery.

“One hundred percent, it was the preparation,” Herrera said Saturday. “I didn’t have it. If you don’t have the foundation, which includes the preparation and work in the offseason, you’re not going to survive.”

Herrera’s velocity was down during the spring, but not being at full strength also affected his location, “which is even more crucial,” he said. The four-seam fastball is back to averaging close to 97 mph, which is where it was last season, but he said he’s still not at full strength.

“Ninety or 80 percent,” he said.

Before the Sox’ 11-5 loss to the Braves Saturday, Herrera was encouraged with his recent outings — eight of his previous nine had been scoreless — but he had a rough one walking two, throwing a wild pitch and allowing a home run to Josh Donaldson. He also struck out three over 1 23 innings. But he is confident he’ll be back to his normal self next season.

“Oh, yeah,” Herrera said. “For sure. Of course. No doubt.”

Andersons giving back

Tim Anderson, wife Bria and the Sox took a small group of Chicago students from the Youth Guidance Becoming A Man (BAM) and Working on Womanhood (WOW) programs to Atlanta. The trip included a visit to the game Friday and to the Center for Civil and Human Rights for a tour Saturday.

“We didn’t have that stuff growing up,” Anderson said. “Learning our history and about yourself is important. You try to guide and lead the kids in the right direction, show them there is more to life out there. Some of those kids never flew before.”

The Andersons also took a group to the Negro League Museum in Kansas City. Anderson, 25, said he’s learning, too.

“It was a good time to learn some history; it’s cool,” Anderson said. “And it’s stuff I get to learn, as well.

‘‘I like to learn the history because when I was their age, I didn’t pay attention to history. It’s important. I learned so much about how it was and what they went through, how they paved the way to be where we are today. It really wasn’t that long ago.”

Cease’s innings

Manager Rick Renteria said there have been no discussions yet on when or if rookie Dylan Cease will be shut down. Cease has thrown 120„ innings between the Sox (52) and Class AAA Charlotte after throwing a career-high 124 between Charlotte and Class AA Birmingham last season. Cease’s next scheduled start is Tuesday in Cleveland.

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