White Sox want Oscar Colas to turn down the volume

“It might sound a little weird, but we want him to dial down the intensity,” manager Pedro Grifol said.

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Oscar Colas of the White Sox hits a sacrifice fly against the Mets at Citi Field on July 20, 2023 in New York. (Getty Images)

Oscar Colas of the White Sox drives in a run with a sacrifice fly against the Metsat Citi Field on July 20, 2023 in New York City. (Al Bello/Getty Images)


MINNEAPOLIS — Rookie right fielder Oscar Colas wasn’t in the lineup when the White Sox visited the Twins on Friday. He was making an adjustment on his baseball “boom box,” as well.

By that, manager Pedro Grifol said, Colas needs to turn down the volume just a notch.

“We have to dial down on the intensity level,” said Grifol, who started the right-handed-hitting Zach Remillard in right field against righty starter Joe Ryan to allow Colas to sit back, gather and observe for a night. “This might sound a little weird, but he plays the game at a 10 volume; we need to play him at an 8. A 10 makes him a little reckless, especially at the plate.’’

Grifol said Colas has the tools and essentials to succeed, but since coming back from Triple-A Charlotte, he’s batting .176 in 11 games, including 10 starts.

“Let the game come to him as opposed to try to do too much,” Grifol said.

Field coordinator Mike Tosar, who serves as one of the Sox’ hitting coaches, said the focus is on Colas controlling the strike zone.

“Shrinking the strike zone, not trying to cover everything,” Tosar said. “Everything is based on the fastball, too. Trying to have him know where the edges are at and staying away from the edges. Keep him more in the middle of the plate.”

Turning things down a notch might help Colas reel it in and resist chasing. That’s the thought process, anyway.

“We use the analogy of a boom box; if you have it cranked all the way up to 10, do you hear it good?” Grifol said he asked Colas.

Colas said he hears distortion.

At 8 or 9, the volume is clearer.

“Yeah, well that’s kind of where we want you to play, not to where you’re out of control but to where you’re still powerful but in control,” Grifol said.

Colas, one of the franchise’s top prospects, won the right-field job in the offseason and spring training, then got sent down May 2 with a .211/.265/.276 hitting line. He returned after slugging his way to an .866 OPS in 48 games but had three hitless games with a sacrifice fly against the Mets this week.

“The tools are there,” Tosar said. “He’s hitting balls down the third- and first-base line, homers to left, homers to center, homers to right. It’s just, polish it.

“He’s asking questions; he wants to get better; he knows where his deficiency is right now. He’s working on it.”

Crochet returns from rehab assignment

Left-hander Garrett Crochet returned from his rehab assignment at Charlotte with a recurrence of the shoulder inflammation that landed him on the injured list June 21.

“He had some soreness in his shoulder, but that’s all I know for right now,” Grifol said.

Since returning from Tommy John surgery this season, the 2020 first-round draft pick has appeared in 10 games with a 3.60 ERA, 10 strikeouts and 11 walks in 10 innings.

Vaughn misses third straight start

Andrew Vaughn’s bone bruise on his left foot kept him out of the starting lineup a third straight day.

“Better, but not good enough to play today,” Grifol said. “It’s a bone bruise, so it’s going to take a little bit of time.”

Kelly close to return

Joe Kelly (elbow) was eligible to return from the injured list Thursday, but it will wait till Saturday or Sunday. Kelly said Friday that he feels good and is ready.

“Everything came back clean,” Grifol said. “His arm feels great. His body feels good.”

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