The White Sox, for all their success, have not been without their injuries this season, and the South Side relief corps took another hit Friday.
General manager Rick Hahn announced that Evan Marshall is on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. The move is retroactive to Sept. 15, the day after Marshall got a huge strikeout of Nelson Cruz to end a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning of the White Sox win over the Minnesota Twins.
Hahn said there's no reason for concern and that the team expects Marshall to return when he's eligible to come off the IL for the first game of the last series of the regular season against the Cubs next Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"We expect him to be fully recovered and able to return when his 10 days are up," Hahn said Friday. "Obviously, we've worked Evan fairly hard here over the last couple of months. Giving him a little bit of a break here given the discomfort he felt the other day in his shoulder makes all the sense in the world to us."
Indeed, the White Sox have called on Marshall an awful lot. Only Jimmy Cordero has pitched in more games this season. But they've done it for good reason, as Marshall has been simply fantastic out of the 'pen. He's got a 2.49 ERA, all six of the runs he's yielded coming in just four of his 22 appearances. He's worked as one of the team's primary high-leverage relievers, a role he's taken on in an even greater capacity since Aaron Bummer went on the injured list last month.
While the White Sox have already punched their ticket to the playoffs, there's more they want to accomplish before the regular season is over, chiefly winning the AL Central crown. There are only 10 games remaining on the regular-season schedule, and they'll now be without one of their primary bullpen weapons for the first seven of those. Obviously, though, that's preferable to being without Marshall in October.
Whether the White Sox will get Bummer back before the playoffs roll around remains to be seen. Hahn said Friday the team isn't ruling out the return of either Bummer or Carlos Rodón from their respective injuries. Bummer is traveling with the team on the current road trip through Cincinnati and Cleveland, Hahn reported, and the team hopes he can be part of its postseason plans, too.
Simultaneously, the White Sox will see what they can get out of Garrett Crochet, their 2020 first-round pick who was surprisingly added to the big league bullpen Friday.
So while you're trying to mentally construct the White Sox playoff 'pen, take all this information into account. Marshall is expected back soon. Bummer could join him. And Crochet gets a week-and-a-half-long audition.