White Sox

White Sox: X-rays of Jose Abreu's finger are negative

joseabreuxraynegativeslide.png

White Sox: X-rays of Jose Abreu's finger are negative

HOUSTON -- Even though Robin Ventura said it looks like Jose Abreu has “an air hose in his thumb,” the first baseman’s X-ray results are about as good as the White Sox could hope.

Abreu’s status for Sunday is unclear and he was doubtful on Saturday afternoon but the White Sox believe the slugger is day-to-day with a swollen right thumb. It’s the best-case scenario for the White Sox and Abreu, who exited Friday night’s game after 8 1/ 2 innings because he could no longer throw the ball.

“You’ll see how he feels,” Ventura said. “(Saturday) it doesn’t look like he’ll do much. He’s not going to go hit on the field or anything. Just day-to-day and see how he feels. But now that we’ve had the X-rays you’ll go from there. If there’s something more to be done it’ll kind of surface and you go from there.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: Excited Avisail Garcia returns to White Sox lineup just in time]

Ventura said Abreu only identified the issue with his right index finger once before when he had to temporarily delay an at-bat after he felt a pinch. Abreu said Friday he originally suffered the injury during an indoor batting practice session at home two weeks ago. But it was clear to both Ventura and Abreu he couldn’t continue on Friday. Abreu attributed his throwing error in the sixth inning Friday to a lack of feel for the baseball.

“When he hit one off the end and he felt it swell up and it just got to a point where he couldn’t throw,” Ventura said. “We had to get him out of the game.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

The White Sox have a steady defensive replacement for Abreu in Gold Glover Adam LaRoche. LaRoche took over in the 11th inning of Friday’s game for Abreu. The veteran hopes Abreu gets back soon, not only for his impact on the lineup, but also in the field.

“He’s good (defensively) and I didn’t realize that coming in,” LaRoche said. “I hadn’t seen him play. He’s got pretty soft hands over there. I don’t know where he played coming up. He’s a lot better than I thought, especially for someone his size. He’s made some really good plays.”

Reynaldo Lopez continues hot start to second half, helps snap White Sox losing streak

lopez.jpg
USA TODAY

Reynaldo Lopez continues hot start to second half, helps snap White Sox losing streak

After a rough outing against the Detroit Tigers on July 4 — his last before the All-Star break — White Sox starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez vowed to be a different pitcher going forward.

“At this point, after a really bad first half, there's not much I can say about that. Starting today, you're going to see a different pitcher going forward for the second half of the season,” Lopez said after his July 4 start through team interpreter Billy Russo. “What is done is done. There's nothing else that I can do to change what is done.

“I can do different things to get better and to be a better pitcher for the year and that's what I'm going to do.”

Two outings later, and Lopez is nearing the point where he can say “I told you so.”

Lopez has come out of the break firing on all cylinders after struggling to a 4-8 record and MLB-worst 6.34 ERA before the Midsummer Classic. Friday, he tossed seven innings of two-run ball, allowing just six hits and one walk compared to eight strikeouts. This follows his brilliant outing against the Athletics on Sunday in which he pitched six innings, allowing just three hits and one run — albeit unearned — with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Lopez exited Sunday’s game in line for a win before the White Sox bullpen slipped up. The offense allowed no such opportunity on Friday, tallying 16 hits en route to a 9-2 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s Lopez’s first win since June 9 against the Kansas City Royals and the White Sox first win after the break, snapping a seven-game skid.

Lopez has received a fair share of criticism this season for his struggles, but his recent success should not come as much of a surprise considering how he fared in 2018. The 25-year-old posted a 3.91 ERA in 32 starts, striking out 151 batters in 188 2/3 innings.

Lopez’s strikeout rate in 2019 is up compared to 2018 (8.19 K/9 in 2019 vs. 7.20 in 2018) and his walk rate is down (3.32 BB/9 in 2019 vs. 3.58 in 2018). The major difference is that opponents are hitting .284 against him this season compared to .234 in 2018, while also holding a .319 BABIP, up from .260 last season.

It may just be two starts, but Lopez is backing up his vow to pitch better. Between Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease and the returns of Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodón from Tommy John surgery in 2020, the White Sox future starting rotation is in good hands. Getting Lopez back to pitching how he did in 2018 will only take that group to the next level.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

baines_podcast.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

Chuck Garfien sits down with new Hall of Famer Harold Baines.

First, Chuck, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka share their memories of watching Baines play with the White Sox (1:40). Then, Baines explains why he's always been so soft-spoken (8:45), how he was able to play 22 seasons in the majors (13:00), why he's never spoken to GM Larry Himes for trading him to Texas (15:30), the apology he received from President George W. Bush (16:30), what he thinks about the critics who don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame (18:25), a replay of Baines emotional interview with Chuck about his dad (20:50) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below: