Chris Bassitt is set to start the second game of a Saturday’s doubleheader for the White Sox and make his major league debut.
But the start is the precursor to what promises to be an interesting two months for the right-hander, who is expected to return to the White Sox in September, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Thursday.
Bassitt, a 6-5, 210-pound right-hander who has a 2.08 combined ERA in nine minor-league games this season, is also set to pitch in the Arizona Fall League starting in October. The White Sox will promote Bassitt as their 26th man for Saturday’s split-doubleheader.
“I did see him in spring training,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He had a live arm. You look at him, just size wise and how it comes out of his hand, it’s an intriguing pitcher — just because of the way he throws. We were impressed with him then. It was fun watching him in spring training. Now you get a chance to see him up here against some good hitters.”
Bassitt has been limited to nine games after he suffered a broken hand earlier this season. Since he returned, Bassitt, 25, has been outstanding. In six starts at Double-A Birmingham, Bassitt has a 1.56 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. The 16th-round pick out of the 2011 draft has allowed 26 hits and walked 14.
Because he was injured, the White Sox want Bassitt to build up his innings, hence the promotion and the AFL invite.
With both Bassitt and Carlos Rodon expected to be added to the pitching staff in September, Ventura has the option to give his current starting pitchers additional rest. Ventura said that’s a possibility but isn’t committing to the idea of a six-man rotation, either.
“It’s possible,” Ventura said. “I don’t think right now it’s necessarily a for sure that you’re going to do that. But again, we’re going to go by what’s happening, how guys are feeling. You’ll have the ability to do that when you need to, but I’m not saying that’s for sure.”
— Jason Coats and Courtney Hawkins were named to the Carolina League postseason All-Star team. Coats, who has since been promoted to Double-A Birmingham, hit .291 with 35 doubles, 15 homers and 72 RBIs in 115 games. Hawkins hit .251 with 25 doubles, 19 homers and 82 RBIs in 118 games.
— Chris Sale is set to start the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Ventura said. First pitch for the contest is at 12:10 p.m.
— The White Sox will honor the Jackie Robinson West Little League team before Game 2 of the doubleheader. It’s also Tony La Russa bobblehead night for fans with tickets to Game 2.