Not a jammed index finger, folks. More like a “jambed” index finger.
White Sox right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera walked through a doorway at his apartment Monday night, grabbed at the frame with his pitching hand without thinking about it and — oh, no — sliced his finger open on a hinge.
He instantly feared the worst.
“I thought it was a lot deeper when it happened,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Crap, I’m going to miss the rest of the season and playoffs’ and stuff.”
Instead: five to seven days on the mend, Tepera hopes, after he showed the cut to Sox trainers. No stitches were necessary. Tepera — a key veteran with a 2.81 ERA in 20 appearances since being acquired from the Cubs — was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Sept. 11. Lefty Jace Fry was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
One assumes Tepera’s mishap is much closer on the oops-o-meter to Lucas Giolito’s early-season water-bottle incident than it is to Jose Quintana’s dish-washing incident in 2020 with Cubs. Still, there’s always something in the injury department with these Sox. Take Tuesday, for example. Giolito was back on the mound and shortstop Tim Anderson back in the lineup. But as soon as those two came off the IL, Tepera and rookie outfielder Andrew Vaughn were on it.
Vaughn is on the 10-day IL (retroactive to Sept. 10) with inflammation in his lower back. He hasn’t played since Sept. 9 in Oakland. What the Sox at first believed to be an issue with his hamstrings might have originated in his back, which remains sore. Vaughn had been slumping, with no extra-base hits over his last 15 games as his slash line dropped from .263/335/.462 to .240/.314/.409.
No need to worry too much about Vaughn, judging from his back-and-forth with slugger Eloy Jimenez, who interrupted a dugout interview to play reporter.
Jimenez: “How are you feeling today?”
Vaughn: “Better than yesterday, baby.”
Jimenez: “That’s great. We need you.”
Collins back, too
In other moves, the Sox recalled catcher Zack Collins from Charlotte and optioned infielder Danny Mendick and catcher Seby Zavala to Charlotte. Zavala hit .183 with five homers and 15 RBI in 37 games with the big club. Collins spent about three weeks in Charlotte working on his swing and loading up on starts behind the plate.
“We’ve been eyeballing Seby,” manager Tony La Russa said, “and we’re going to eyeball Zack. Nobody has any kind of commitment or promise, assuming we get that [magic] number down to zero and we’re actually in October.”
But when the Sox go for all the marbles, Collins wants that No. 2 catcher job behind Yasmani Grandal.
“It would mean everything,” he said. “This is a great team, and we’ve had a lot of guys step up for us this year. And it would be great to be a part of it.”
This and that
Grandal reached base for the 29th straight game, tying Jose Abreu (2016) and Juan Pierre (2010) for the longest streak by a Sox player in one season since 1998.
• Abreu’s three walks gave him 54 this season, a career high.
• Closer Liam Hendriks is the Sox’ nominee for the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award, presented to the major-leaguer who best represents the game with high character, community involvement and contributions to his team.