Avisail Garcia’s hot start to his rehab assignment has only furthered the notion he will return to the White Sox again in 2014.
Once designated as out for the season, the outfielder has his manager hopeful he could be back in the majors before the end of the month. Garcia, who tore the labrum in his left shoulder in April and had surgery, is 8-for-15 with a home run in his first four games at Triple-A Charlotte. Ventura agrees Garcia’s start is encouraging.
“It’s nice to see,” Ventura said. “It just shows the kind of work he did while he was up here, not only just the rehab stuff but staying in baseball shape. It shows just being around it is helpful also. As soon as he was available to get on the field, he was out there. He was the first guy there pretty much every day.”
Garcia has yet to play in the outfield and would need to do so at least several times before he can return to the majors. His rehab assignment can last up to 20 days and the White Sox intend to take their time with Garcia to ensure he’s ready. Garcia only played a week and change worth of games in April before he went down with the injury. Therefore the team looks at his rehab assignment as a pseudo-spring training for the outfielder.
At the same time, Ventura is hopeful Garcia can maintain as he prepares for a potential return to the big leagues.
“He just needs more time,” Ventura said. “I’ve seen some guys that have done that before where you go down there and don’t get much time and you come up here and there will still be a breaking-in period just like there is in spring training. Hopefully he gets that down there.
“You look at what he’s doing right now, where he’s at, you don’t want any setbacks. But if there’s no setbacks, if he’s available and ready to play, you’d like to have him.”
Coop-less in Seattle
Pitching coach Don Cooper is set to miss his 13th game with vertigo on Wednesday and he’ll be out at least another four. Ventura said Cooper wouldn’t travel with the team to Seattle for a four-game series that begins Thursday.
“He’s just not feeling any better,” Ventura said. “It wouldn’t do him any good to get him on a plane. The doctors have basically said ‘Don’t fly. That would be the worst thing you could do right now.’ Just be here, get some treatment and figure out what’s going on.”
— Zach Putnam (right shoulder inflammation) pitched a scoreless inning in a rehab assignment at Charlotte on Tuesday night. He could come off the disabled list on Friday, Ventura said.
— Garcia’s home run on Tuesday night was an opposite-field shot.
— Matt Lindstrom (left ankle) struck out a batter in scoreless inning at Charlotte on Tuesday. He has allowed three runs and five hits with two strikeouts in three innings during his rehab assignment.