White Sox activate Jonathan Stiever as 27th man

Right-hander could start Game 2 of split doubleader against Red Sox

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White Sox pitcher Jonathan Stiever warms up prior to a spring training baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Friday, March 5, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Ross D. Franklin, AP Photos

BOSTON — The White Sox recalled right-hander Jonathan Stiever from the Schaumburg training facility to serve as the 27th man for their split doubleheader against the Red Sox Sunday.

Manager Tony La Russa wouldn’t commit to Stiever as the starter for the second game. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel starts Game 1, and the Game 2 starter is listed as TBA.

“The priority is just to watch the first game and do whatever it takes to win with the ‘pen behind Dallas, if it’s necessary,” La Russa said. “And then we’ll sort out the second game. But Jonathan would be one of the guys that you would consider.”

Stiever, 23, was the Sox’ fifth-round draft pick in 2018 and is rated by Baseball America as the Sox’ No. 7 prospect. He made two starts last season, going 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA (seven earned runs over 7 13 innings). He combined to go 10-10 with a 3.48 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 154 innings over over 26 starts between Class A Kannapolis and advanced A Winston-Salem in 2019.

Stiever traveled with the team as part of the five-man taxi squad. The other pitcher is Alex McRae, who is not on the 40-man roster. La Russa said prospect Jimmy Lambert was also considered.

“Jonathan, he’s an outstanding prospect,” La Russa said. “I wouldn’t hesitate to use him in either one of these two games. The first priority is Game 1, and you don’t want to be saving something for Game 2 when you have a real chance to win Game 1. That’s why you’ve got to be not playing any games with the Red Sox, because it’s going to depend on who we need to get the first win the first game we play.”


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