White Sox

Yoan Moncada says he's fine after early exit, while Lucas Giolito's status is more of a mystery

Yoan Moncada says he's fine after early exit, while Lucas Giolito's status is more of a mystery

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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Eloy Jimenez gets rave review from Yankees All Star: 'He can be a star for all of MLB'

Eloy Jimenez gets rave review from Yankees All Star: 'He can be a star for all of MLB'

The temperature is rising on the South Side, and if you look outside, you know it has nothing to do with Mother Nature.

Instead, it’s a heat wave coming from a fresh-faced 22-year-old slugger who’s crushing baseballs, igniting a fan base and screaming “Hi Mom!” to his actual mother whenever he spots a TV camera with its red light on.

Eloy Jimenez has arrived with the White Sox, and according to a New York Yankees All Star who has known him for years, the best is yet to come.

“Not this year, but next year, he’s going to be even better,” infielder Gleyber Torres said about Jimenez.

The two of them were signed by that team across town in 2013 when they were both 16 years old. They were practically inseparable back then, and they remain tight to this day.

“I talk with Gleyber pretty much every single day now. He’s kind of like my brother,” Jimenez said. “We haven’t lost that communication, and I think that’s good for us.”

Torres echoed similar thoughts about Jimenez.

“In my first couple years with the Cubs, he was my roommate every day. We’ve got a really good relationship. We’re like brothers. We are really good friends,” Torres said. “I’m just happy to see what he’s doing right now.”

Which, lately, has been just about everything.

There was that majestic home run Jimenez belted on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals that landed on the center field concourse at Guaranteed Rate Field, the two walks the next day when the Yankees decided to pitch around Jimenez as if he was a perennial All Star, and then the two-homer game on Friday: The first one gave the White Sox the lead, the second stuck a dagger into the Yankees, as well as the heart of his longtime friend.

“For sure, I didn’t like it,” Torres said with a smile about Jimenez’s two-homer, six-RBI game. “I’m not surprised. I knew Eloy before he signed with the Cubs out of the Dominican. He’s a big dude. The power is coming every day.”

How good can Jimenez be? Torres, who plays on a star-studded team with Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius, sees Jimenez reaching the same stratosphere.

“He can be a star for all of MLB. He’s just a young guy right now, but when he matures a little more, he can do everything.”

Jimenez is turning up the heat in Chicago, and it’s not even summer yet.

The South Side can’t wait for the sizzle to come.

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Eloy is coming? No. Eloy is here!

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Eloy is coming? No. Eloy is here!

Eloy Jimenez has arrived.

His rookie season has become special with big games and big moments, the latest being his two-homer, six RBI game against the Yankees. Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the magic of Eloy (1:30). Chuck interviews Jimenez after the game (6:20), Lucas Giolito is the first 10-game winner in baseball. Let that sink in (8:00). Die-hard White Sox fan Frank Kaminsky rips Cubs fans (13:00) and more.

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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