James Shields returns to White Sox, but liked what he saw in Triple-A

James Shields returns to White Sox, but liked what he saw in Triple-A

James Shields is back with the White Sox and will come off the disabled list to start Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays. 

The 35-year-old right-hander threw 90 pitches in his third rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday and said Wednesday he’s “ready to rock.” Shields was placed on the 10-day disabled list April 21 (retroactive to April 18) with a strained right lat. 

“I’m still getting my arm back in shape and I feel like it’s pretty good right now, but as of right now I feel pretty solid to go,” Shields said. 

Shields spent about a week and a half with the Knights during his first trip to the minor leagues since 2006. He enjoyed a bit of nostalgia while riding the bus on a road trip, but more importantly, he had an opportunity to observe and spend time with some of the White Sox prized young minor league arms. 

Shields saw Lucas Giolito throw well in two starts, totaling 16 strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings while allowing four runs, six walks, 11 hits and one home run. Reynaldo Lopez threw seven innings of three-run ball June 6, while Carson Fulmer threw five shutout innings June 9, with both of those starts coming in front of Shields. 

So it’s no wonder he came away with a positive impression of the talented Knights’ rotation. But those guys also picked Shields’ brain, taking advantage of having a longtime veteran in their clubhouse. 

“They asked me a lot of questions, they wanted my opinion on some of their games,” Shields said. “Giolito threw two heck of ballgames when I was up there, I think he had 11 strikeouts in one game, threw really well in Gwinnett. He works hard, he’s looking really good. Fulmer, same way. Lopez pitched a great game as well. 

“That pitching staff is doing really good down there. They’re all working hard and I’m sure they’re biting at the bit to get up in the big leagues.”

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons tonight on CSN+

Preview: Charlotte Knights battle Buffalo Bisons tonight on CSN+

CSN's coverage of the Charlotte Knights continues on Saturday night as the Knights will host the Buffalo Bisons at 6 p.m. on CSN+.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

White Sox No. 1 prospect Yoan Moncada, who landed on the 7-day DL on May 18, makes his return to the Knights lineup this weekend.

It's the fourth of eight games that CSN will televise over the next two months to give fans an opportunity to watch the future of the White Sox.

Check out the rest of the television schedule here.

White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito: No-hitter 'special' after early struggles

White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito: No-hitter 'special' after early struggles

Lucas Giolito got the “click” he was looking for on Thursday night and it resulted in a seven-inning no-hitter for Triple-A Charlotte.

Currently the No. 2-rated White Sox prospect, Giolito has struggled so far this season at Charlotte. He’s 2-5 with a 5.44 ERA in nine starts in 46 1/3 innings.

While he’s struck out 43 hitters, Giolito has also walked 25. But it all came together for the tall right-hander on Thursday when he threw an 87-pitch no-no against the Syracuse Chiefs.

“It was special,” Giolito said on a conference call on Friday. “Just the way the year has gone, it didn't start the way I wanted it to, the numbers haven't been great. So it's great to have a no-hitter under my belt, my first professional one. Just take that and work from there. I'm just going to keep working on the things I've been working on the past few weeks and hopefully string a few good ones together.”

Rated the No. 3 overall prospect in the majors before the 2016 season, Giolito’s profile has slipped some because of performance. The top name included from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton deal, Giolito has struggled with command of his offspeed pitches and fastball at times. Earlier this month, Giolito described his performance as “atrocious,” while remaining optimistic that his fortunes could change just like clicking on a light switch.

Giolito said he felt confident on the mound Thursday and it translated.

“I did a lot better job of keeping the fastball down in the zone to both sides of the plate,” Giolito said. “I was able to get the ball inside to lefties pretty well, maybe got a few jam shots some pop outs here and there and then I had my two-seamer working as well. It was just a pretty solid day as far as throwing the fastball.”

Pleased as he is, Giolito is striving to be better. He pointed at his three walks as an area he’d like to improve upon. But he’s also happy with how it all worked on Thursday.

“There's always still work to do,” Giolito said. “I walked three batters and that is not something I want to be doing. The walk numbers are a little too high for my liking. There's still plenty to work on, but everything felt pretty solid last night. I felt like I repeated my delivery well, I executed more pitches. Especially when I'd fall behind in the count I'd execute quality pitches and you can get yourself out of bad situations doing that.”

The Knights made two roster moves on Friday -- Yoan Moncada was activated off the seven-day disabled list and Ryan Raburn was traded to the Washington Nationals for cash or a player to be named later.