Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will skip his scheduled start Saturday against the Tigers “out of an abundance of caution,” manager Rick Renteria said, and aim for his turn against the Twins early next week instead.
Keuchel left his start against the Royals on Sunday with back soreness, and missing a turn puts more stress on a rotation that has received a combined 10 starts from Reynaldo Lopez, Gio Gonzalez and Carlos Rodon because of injuries — and in Lopez’s case, injury and ineffectiveness when healthy.
The bigger concern would be whether Keuchel, who owns a 6-2 record and 2.19 ERA, will be 100% down the stretch and in the postseason. But Renteria said Keuchel won’t miss more than one start.
“He actually came into the office today, said he was feeling better,” Renteria said. “So he’s going to go out there, play some catch, and we’ll continue to treat him up and get him ready for his next start after we obviously skip this one.”
The White Sox are 2-4 against the defending American League Central champion Twins and 6-1 against the Tigers.
Keuchel has had soreness for much of the season and lasted only five innings in each of his last two starts, throwing 85 pitches against the Twins in a 3-2 loss on Sept. 1 and 49 against the Royals in an 8-2 win. In two outings leading up to those, Keuchel threw 114 pitches in eight innings in a 10-1 win over the Cubs on Aug. 21 and 97 pitches in six innings in a 10-3 win over the Pirates five days later.
The Sox are off Thursday before starting a 17-day stretch to close out the regular season. Lucas Giolito starts Friday against the Tigers, and Saturday’s and Sunday’s starters are to be determined, Renteria said. A bullpen day is possible, and Dylan Cease could pitch on four days of rest Sunday. Another possibility is bringing Lopez back from Schaumburg.
Pirates Hall of Fame right fielder Roberto Clemente was honored around baseball Wednesday, and shortstop Tim Anderson, the Sox’ nominee for the Clemente Award, felt honored to be playing in Pittsburgh.
The award is given to the player who “best exemplifies the game, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”
“Yeah, man, it just makes sense,” Anderson said of community involvement. “Grow as a person, player, teammate. Just rub people the right way, respecting people no matter what position they have or what kind of job they have. Just being realistic with life and understand everything and cherish every moment.”
This and that
Through Tuesday, the Sox were sixth in the majors with a 3.76 ERA, which would be their lowest mark since the 2005 World Series season (3.61). The rotation ranked fourth in the majors with a 3.47 ERA, which would be the team’s lowest mark since 1972 (3.10), when Wilbur Wood (49 starts), Stan Bahnsen (41), Tom Bradley (40) and Dave Lemonds (18) made all but six of the team’s 154 starts.
The starters own a major-league-best 2.71 ERA over the last 37 games but have thrown only 50⅔ innings over the last 11 games.
† Dane Dunning, who started Wednesday, and nine other Sox have made their major-league debuts in 2020. Zack Burdi, Bernardo Flores Jr., Matt Foster, Luis Gonzalez, Codi Heuer, Jimmy Lambert, Nick Madrigal, Yermin Mercedes and Luis Robert are the others.