Lucas Giolito and Yoan Moncada both made early exits in Wednesday's game, though at the moment the outlook seems rosier for the third baseman than it does for the starting pitcher.
Moncada was hit in the head, while wearing a helmet, of course, by a throw from the catcher as he was attempting to steal second base. He appeared significantly shaken up and drew attention from the dugout but stayed in the game — briefly. He departed in favor of a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, the White Sox announcing shortly thereafter that tests for a concussion came up negative.
After the game, Moncada talked of a headache, but he also pointed toward wanting to play in Thursday afternoon's game against the Detroit Tigers in the Motor City.
"I'm going to be better tomorrow and I want to play tomorrow," he said through team interpreter Billy Russo.
There was little in the way of a postgame update on Giolito. The right-hander left the game in the midst of a sterling start, with five strikeouts through just 2.2 hitless innings. But he felt something in his hamstring on a third-inning pitch to Alex Gordon and came out of the game after a couple practice tosses. He didn't react well to his exit, looking distraught as he made his way from the field to the dugout to the clubhouse. The White Sox announced hamstring tightness and a day-to-day status during the game.
Giolito didn't speak with the media following the game, which lasted more than four hours. Manager Rick Renteria merely said that the pitcher would be reevaluated Wednesday night.
"We'll re-evaluate him later on today and see where he's at," Renteria said.
Whether or not Moncada gets his wish of playing in Thursday's matinee, it sounds as if his ailment is little to be concerned about. Giolito, on the other hand, is a mystery. The reaction caught by TV cameras wasn't confidence-inspiring, though it could have simply been a show of frustration over having to exit what looked to be a promising start.
If Giolito ends up missing any time, the White Sox aren't blessed with too many options to replace him in the rotation. The logical choice might be Dylan Covey, who made the Opening Day bullpen but was sent to Triple-A Charlotte to work on being a starter. The team could also decide to temporarily move Manny Banuelos from the bullpen, where he's succeeded as a long man, to the rotation. Such a move, however, would leave a hole in the relief corps, which would need a new innings eater.
That's all hypothetical at the moment, though, as the White Sox wait for word on Giolito.
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