CLEVELAND — Lucas Giolito passed his simulated game test in Arizona Tuesday and will return to the rotation Sunday when the White Sox play the Twins.
Giolito, on the injured list with a low abdominal strain on his left side which occured on Opening Day, returned to the team Tuesday night and declared himself fit to start in Minnesota where the Sox close out a six-game road trip against AL Central teams.
“It went pretty well, I felt healthy,” Giolito said Wednesday before the Sox played the Guardians in a straight doubleheader at Progressive Field. “That was the goal ... and to be ready to rejoin the rotation and hoping to make a good impact going forward.”
Giolito said he threw about 50 pitches, getting up three times.
“We get the big guy back,” said manager Tony La Russa, who “penciled in” Giolito for Sunday.
Giolito exited his Opening Day start against the Tigers on April 8 after pitching four scoreless innings. But he’s back to “feeling very strong” now, he said.
Giolito should go beyond three innings and 50 pitches Sunday. How much more is to be determined.
“We’ll see how much the Twins cooperate,” La Russa said.
Giolito’s velocity and movement of pitches were normal in the sim game.
“Figure out a way to be sharp with one appearance but health is the important part and he’s excited,” La Russa said.
Eloy out with sore ankle
Eloy Jimenez, still sore after fouling a pitch off his left ankle against the Mariners Wednesday, missed both ends of the doublheader. Jimenez played all three games of last weekend’s series against the Rays and had Monday and Tuesday off because of postponed games in Cleveland.
“He twisted it somehow, too, making some kind of move after he got hit or something,” La Russa said. “It’s more than just the bruise. There’s some swelling there. But that’s how it started.”
Toward the end of the weekend, Jimenez “didn’t have a good foundation with that one leg” at the plate, La Russa said. He did some running and took some swings indoors Wednesday.
Harrison exits with sore shoulder
Third baseman Josh Harrison exited Game 2 during the sixth inning with right shoulder soreness. Harrison jumped over left fielder Andrew Vaughn and tumbled to the ground after making a long running catch of Jose Ramirez’ pop fly in the fifth. Harrison, who was replaced by Jake Burger, was being further evaluated.
Cueto at Charlotte
Johnny Cueto finished his work in Arizona and is in Charlotte, where he’ll pitch soon for the Triple-A Knights in his final step toward joining the Sox.
Signed to a one-year, $4.2 million minor league contract on April 4, reports on the 36-year-old Cueto have been favorable.
“Heard the ball is coming out of his hand good,” La Russa said. “He’s a pitch maker, he has that touch. They’ve been very complimentary about how he has been locating and his array of pitches.”
Moncada ‘better’ but no timetable for return
Yoan Moncada (oblique) is taking swings under control and not full bore and still has no timetable for a return, La Russa said.
“I just saw on the report, he’s feeling better, but he’ll make a move and might even sneeze and he’ll feel something,” La Russa said. “You do something violent, take a swing and then you’ve got ... you’ve got to let that thing play out.”
Three Guardians on COVID-19 IL
Three Guardians landed on the COVID-19 injured list, including league batting leader Owen Miller. Right-hander Cal Quantrill and righty reliever Anthony Castro also tested positive for the virus.