White Sox

White Sox sick bay: Austin Jackson, others several weeks away from return

White Sox sick bay: Austin Jackson, others several weeks away from return

White Sox outfielder Austin Jackson remains a ways away from returning from the torn meniscus he suffered June 9, general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday. 

The 29-year-old Jackson underwent surgery to deride and remove a small portion of the medial meniscus in his left knee June 15. He underwent a follow-up MRI that showed “modest improvement” in his surgically-repaired knee and will slowly begin non-contact activities soon. 

“It’s going to be a slow return for him,” Hahn said. “It’s going to be a while. Assuming he doesn’t have a set back with the non impact then we’ll start ramping up baseball, although we’re still several weeks away on that one.”

Jackson was hitting .254/.318/.343 before landing on the disabled list. His primary replacement, J.B. Shuck, has a .250/.270/.382 slash line in 43 games this season.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox got some bad news on ailing catcher Alex Avila this week. Avila re-aggravated his strained right hamstring — which landed him on the disabled list July 6 — during a rehab assignment game with Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday and underwent an MRI Thursday that showed “similar damage to what he had in the past,” Hahn said. 

Avila, who leads White Sox regulars with a .362 on-base percentage, is at least four weeks away from coming off the disabled list. 

Left-hander Carlos Rodon (sprained left wrist) played catch Sunday and will throw a side session next Tuesday. He’ll throw another side a few days after the first one and then go on a rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list. Rodon suffered his injury when he slipped coming out of the third base dugout at U.S. Cellular Field July 8. 

“He is advancing and improving and hopefully that rehab isn’t too far off,” Hahn said. 

Lastly, right-hander Zach Putnam (ulnar neuritis in right elbow) had setback in his recovery and is likely to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow. He’ll require “several weeks,” Hahn said, after undergoing surgery before he could return from the disabled list.

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

No one knows better than Joakim Soria that the more successful he is as the White Sox’s closer, there is an increased likelihood that the veteran right-hander will be headed out of town at some point.

Soria has not only solidified the back end of the bullpen, the 34-year-old has emerged as perhaps the Sox’s most valuable trade asset to a contending team in need of relief help.

Over this last 14 appearances, Soria has not allowed an earned run and has converted all seven save chances with five hits allowed, two walks and 15 strikeouts.

“My body feels good and my arm feels good,” Soria said before the Sox defeated the Athletics 10-3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I come to the ballpark expecting to pitch and … I try to be out there and help this team win.”

While the Sox haven’t done a whole lot of winning of late—Sunday’s win was just their second in their last 11 games—when they are victorious it’s accompanied by a Soria save. With the Sox’s rebuild in full swing, Soria understands that general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to flip him in a trade.

“Players say they don’t think about it but you have to think about it,” said Soria, who was acquired from the Royals on Jan. 4 in a three-team trade also involving the Dodgers. “When you have a family with three kids and a wife you have to be prepared for everything. But it’s not like I come to the field thinking about that. It’s just God’s plan and whatever happens it’s a business and you prepare.”

Soria has 215 career saves, including 162 in seven seasons with the Royals, but hadn’t been a full-time closer since notching a combined 24 saves with the Tigers and Pirates. With the Sox, Soria won the closing job over fellow veteran Nate Jones in spring training and has been nearly unhittable in recent weeks.

Over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched, Soria has held opponents to a .109 batting average and sports a 2.89 ERA for the season. He has issued five walks in 28 innings and is averaging 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two-time All-Star has settled in nicely in a Sox clubhouse featuring a mix of veterans and promising talents. Soria has to balance that with the knowledge he might not be around as the season progresses.

“It’s something I can’t control,” Soria said. “I have a really good relationship with these guys and the chemistry with this team is very good. I can’t think outside of the box because (a trade) hasn’t happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today’s game.”

Dane Dunning left minor league start with 'moderate' elbow strain

Dane Dunning left minor league start with 'moderate' elbow strain

Dane Dunning has been nothing but consistent since joining the White Sox organization in the Adam Eaton trade before the 2017 season.

He has performed well at three different levels in the minor leagues and has stayed healthy. That second part is currently in question after he left a start for Double-A Birmingham on Saturday with elbow soreness.

Dunning left in the fourth inning in what was developing into one of his worst starts of the season. He had four strikeouts, but also walked four and gave up two runs (one earned). The four walks matched a season high.

Here is how things went down on his final pitch:

It's too early for a full diagnosis, but Dunning is expected to have an MRI in the next few days. White Sox manager Rick Renteria talked about Dunning's injury before Sunday's game against the Athletics.

"I think everybody considered it a very moderate strain," Renteria said. "Nobody is at this point too concerned. They still have to re-evaluate more. We won’t know more until they get further evaluation and at that point everybody will know where he’s at. Right now he still has to be re-evaluated."

Dunning, 23, began the season at Single-A Winston-Salem where he posted a 2.59 ERA in four starts with 31 strikeouts against three walks in 24 1/3 innings. The Florida product then was promoted to Birmingham where he has a 2.76 ERA. In 11 starts with the Barons, Dunning has 69 strikeouts and 23 walks in 62 innings.

Dunning is one of the top pitching prospects in the White Sox farm system along with Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

Chris Kuc contributed to this report.