Matt Lindstrom will return to trusted role for White Sox

Matt Lindstrom will return to trusted role for White Sox
August 12, 2014, 10:00 pm
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Lindstrom is sure to see some high-leverage situations and soon after returning to the White Sox bullpen on Tuesday night.

But it won’t be the ninth inning, at least not for now, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Lindstrom returns to the team less than three months after he had surgery to repair the sheath covering the tendon in his left ankle and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. While he opened the season as the team’s closer, Lindstrom, who is 2-1 with six saves and a 3.32 ERA, won’t just reassume the role, not that the White Sox have named a closer since Ronald Belisario was removed in June. Rookie Jake Petricka, who has become the de facto closer and has eight saves, will stay put for now, Ventura said.

“(Lindstrom is) not going to come in in the ninth tonight, but I think he’ll be in a pivotal spot,” Ventura said. “I trust him in one of those. I think Jake is still going to be going in the ninth. Other than that, you’re mixing and matching trying to figure out where you’re going to put him. He’s going to be somewhere in the sixth, seventh, eighth, whatever spot we think is going to fit for him. I’m not going to get myself in any ‘This is exactly where he’s going to be.’"

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At this point Lindstrom just wants to be in the mix and he hopes it happens quickly.

The veteran right-hander allowed seven earned runs over 4 2/3 innings in five rehab outings at Charlotte. More important than the numbers, however, is the fact that Lindstrom’s ankle withstood each test in the field and on the mound and he’s ready to go.

“I’m expecting to pitch (Tuesday),” Lindstrom said. “We’ll see what happens. Hopefully I can get in there and get the nerves out of the way and get going. Pitching every other day in Charlotte was a good test for my arm and body. My velocity was actually better over those five appearances than it was all season, so I was pretty happy about that. I was pretty sharp, too, especially those last two outings with fastball command and even the other pitches. It’s very difficult setting up hitters in AAA. They see the ball, hit the ball, so we’ll see what happens.”

Dunn in right field

With a shorter fence in right field, the White Sox opted to start Adam Dunn there over left field, Ventura said. Of his 1,106 appearances in the outfield before Tuesday, Dunn had made only 105 in right field, the last time coming in 2011.

“This is a peculiar little right field,” Ventura said. “He’s played it before, but it is short enough that you feel you can put him out there. He’ll catch whatever is there, whatever he can get to. We’re not expecting him to run stuff down like the other guys. But if it’s there and he can get to it, he’s going to catch it.”

Other notes

-- Chris Sale’s second-inning at-bat on Tuesday night was his first since June 15, 2012. Sale grounded out to shortstop.

-- Catcher Josh Phegley was named the International League player of the week after he hit .563 (9-for-16) with three home runs, 13 RBI and seven runs in four games.

-- Minor-league pitchers Chris Bassitt and Tyler Danish each earned pitcher of the week honors in their respective leagues. Bassitt earned a win, struck out 11 and allowed three hits and two walks over six scoreless innings at Double-A Birmingham of the Southern League. Danish is the Carolina League’s honoree after striking out five and allowing two hits in six scoreless at Single-A Winston-Salem. Danish hasn’t allowed a run in 22 innings dating back to July 23.