HOUSTON -- He didn’t start Friday, but Avisail Garcia has progressed enough to where Robin Ventura considers him an option to play.
The White Sox manager said Friday afternoon that Garcia could appear as a pinch hitter in the opener of a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Even if he doesn’t, Garcia, who performed baseball activity Friday for the first time in four days, looks on track to start on Saturday afternoon, barring a setback with his right knee.
“He looks pretty good,” Ventura said. “There is a chance he could get in there, if the situation arises that looks like a good spot for him, you could put him in there. I don’t know if I necessarily would put him in the outfield (Friday) until we see him run around and really see the ball off the bat. But he looks good. It’s very encouraging watching him run around where he is. It looks like it would be (Saturday) that we would get him in there and having him start again.”
[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Prior to Friday, Garcia had been in rest and rehab mode since he exited Monday’s game in Toronto after only 1 1/2 innings. With three-plus days of treatment under his belt, Garcia hit the field early Friday to run for Ventura and the training staff. Garcia, who also participated in batting practice and took grounders and fly balls for the first time since Monday, said he feels much better.
“With the rest and treatment the trainers gave to me, I feel really good,” Garcia said. “Couldn’t put my knee up yesterday, but now I’m stretching it out when I go to my room, my bed, doing some exercise. It feels pretty good.”
“I think I will play (Saturday).”