The Chicago White Sox collected a victory on Saturday, but they had to rearrange their starting staff during their weekend series in Detroit.
Right-hander Michael Kopech was scheduled to start Sunday afternoon’s series finale for Chicago. Instead, he was placed on the 15-day injured list on Saturday due to right shoulder inflammation.
“Obviously there’s inflammation in there,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said to MLB.com. “And there’s enough of a concern to pull the plug on at least his next couple of starts. We’ve given him some medication, and obviously he’ll rest for the early part of this IL stay. It is still a possibility that he can return to the active roster when his 15 days are up.”
In his place, Johnny Cueto could start if he recovers in time from a non-COVID-related illness. He was a late scratch on Saturday.
Cueto (7-8, 3.09 ERA) pitched eight scoreless innings against the Tigers on July 9. The 36-year-old right-hander is 2-2 with a 2.34 ERA in six career starts versus Detroit.
Cueto struggled in his last outing, however, allowing seven runs (five earned) and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings against Oakland.
If he can’t go, acting manager Miguel Cairo will mix and match his bullpen to get through the game.
“We’ve got to keep going,” Cairo said.
Chicago (75-71) pulled out a 4-2 victory in 11 innings on Saturday. Closer Liam Hendriks wound up with the victory after pitching a scoreless 10th inning.
The White Sox can’t afford many more losses if they want to catch Cleveland for the American League Central crown. The second-place White Sox begin a three-game series against the visiting Guardians on Tuesday.
“It’s never too late until we are eliminated,” Hendriks said.
Drew Hutchison (2-8, 4.24 ERA) will get the nod for the Tigers on Sunday. He’s made three appearances against the White Sox this season, most recently on July 10 when he held them to two runs and five hits in six innings.
In his last start, Hutchison gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings to Houston on Tuesday. The long ball has been an issue in his last four outings — he’s surrendered six home runs during that span, including two to the Astros.
“It comes down to executing pitches,” Hutchison said. “I did a good job of filling up the zone and throwing strikes. No walks, usually that’s a good outing for me. But when you give up two home runs it cancels it out.”
He’s 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA in eight career outings (five starts) against the White Sox.
Detroit (55-90) has some minor issues with its infield entering Sunday’s game.
Harold Castro suffered a wrist injury while trying to make a tag in the 11th inning on Saturday. He won’t be in the lineup for the finale.
Shortstop Javier Baez didn’t start the game due to some right knee soreness.
Baez had a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the 11th, then came out for a pinch-runner. He won’t be on the field but could be in the lineup on Sunday.
“Planning on DH-ing him tomorrow but if comes in sore, then we’ll sit him again,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
–Field Level Media