ARLINGTON, Texas -- A.J. Pierzynski wants to face his former team but probably won’t play until at least Thursday’s finale because of soreness in his right oblique.
The Texas Rangers catcher lifted his jersey on Tuesday to reveal a nasty bruise on his right side after he addressed several members of the Chicago media.
Pierzynski, who is off to a strong start in his first season with the Rangers, is out of the lineup for a second straight game and indicated he likely won’t face former White Sox teammate Chris Sale on Wednesday, either. The soreness will delay an on-field reunion between Pierzynski and his former teammates, one the veteran catcher admits is a little strange.
“I want to play,” said Pierzynski, who spent eight seasons with the White Sox before he joined Texas this offseason. “There’s no doubt I want to play. But I have some stuff going on and they decided it was better with the off-day yesterday to give me an extra day.”
Pierzynski is preparing as if he’ll play on Thursday when the White Sox send Jake Peavy to the mound. The catcher sat in on a team defensive meeting and a pitcher’s meeting as the staff dissected how they wanted to attack White Sox hitters. Although he faced the White Sox in February in an exhibition game, Pierzynski said going over game plans of his former teammates was a new experience.
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“It was weird sitting in a pitcher’s meeting and going over the White Sox lineup instead of going the other way,” Pierzynski said. “It will be good to kind of get it out of the way so you guys will quit asking me questions about it. But on the other hand, it’s good to see some friendly faces and see some guys I’ve spent a lot of times with.”
Pierzynski, who signed a one-year, $7.5-million deal with the Rangers in December, has a .295/.324/.474 slash line with four homers and 11 RBIs in 21 games. Texas enters Tuesday’s opener with the White Sox with a 16-9 record. His oblique aside, Pierzynski has found comfort in his new home.
“Everything has been going good,” Pierzynski said. “Obviously we have been playing really well as a team and we’ve been pitching really well. And it’s worked out really well. These guys are awesome people and an awesome organization and they’ve welcomed me. It has been fun to come to the park every day.”
Danks out of lineup
Jordan Danks was scratched from the lineup on Tuesday night with an inflamed bursa sac in his right knee. The White Sox outfielder was expected to hit ninth and play in center field but has been replaced by Dewayne Wise.
Danks is getting treatment and walked gingerly through the clubhouse, the result of a crash into the outfield fence on Friday night.
“You’d rather have him available than have him start and then have to take him out if it stays the way it is,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s the reason why we switched so you don’t lose a guy by putting him out and then have to take him out in the second inning when he’s hurting. You can use him later.”
The White Sox currently have six players on the disabled list.
After he missed the team’s last three games, infielder Jeff Keppinger said he’s ready for Tuesday’s opener after his back has loosened up considerably. Keppinger is out of the starting lineup with what the club has described as back spasms. But he said he feels good enough to play if Ventura asks. Keppinger, who believes he injured himself with an athletic slide at home plate on Thursday night, said he felt no ill effects after the team flight to Texas on Monday.
“If I would have had to fly out Saturday or Friday I would have had no shot,” Keppinger said. “But it has loosened up tremendously. I'm available today and hopefully I'm back in there by tomorrow.”
Viciedo’s activity increases
Dayan Viciedo, who is on the DL retroactive to April 19 with a left oblique strain, has made significant progress in his recovery. The outfielder hit 50 flipped pitches in the batting cage over two sessions Tuesday and plans to increase his activity level before he most likely will go out on a rehab assignment.
Viciedo said he doesn’t feel any pain but has taken advice from teammates who have also suffered the same injury.
“They told me to take my time, not to rush into it,” Viciedo said through a translator. “If I happen to hurt it again, it’s going to be a little longer. They have told me to take it easy. That’s what I’m doing.”