07/04/12 11:12 PM ET
Ramirez reunited with parents after five years
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Heath gives the White Sox 10 rookies
CHICAGO -- Another day, and another rookie joins the White Sox.Deunte Heath received the call on Wednesday, as the right-hander replaced Jesse Crain on the active roster. Crain was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to June 24, with a strain in the back of his right shoulder. Heath, 26, gives the White Sox 10 rookies on their 25-man roster, with eight rookie pitchers and six of the seven in the bullpen being first-year hurlers. He posted a 4-2 record with a 1.70 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings over 22 games for Triple-A Charlotte. His last two appearances came as a starter on June 24 at Rochester and Sunday at Pawtucket, covering four innings each. Heath immediately becomes an option to start the first-half finale on Sunday at home against the Blue Jays, with Chris Sale's spot being skipped. "There's a mix of everything on Sunday," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who could bring back Wednesday starter Dylan Axelrod on three days' rest as part of that mix. "Everybody is going to be ready on Sunday. Guys have issues going on, so let's take care of it now, and having rookies, that's what we got." "Whatever they need. You can't turn it down, you know," said Heath, who was signed as a free agent on April 22, 2010, and will wear uniform No. 60. "I treat it the same as when I was in the 'pen."
Crain wants to be ready for strong finish
CHICAGO -- White Sox reliever Jesse Crain had a strain in the back of his right shoulder during the 2009 season while pitching for the Twins, and missed from April 18-May 4. So he doesn't expect an extended absence with that problem having now resurfaced, placing him on the disabled list Wednesday (retroactive to June 24), but leaving him ready to return when the club begins its second-half schedule on July 13 in Kansas City."My rotator muscles get fatigued, and the strain happens," said Crain, who was hampered by a right oblique strain cutting short his Spring Training and then a left oblique strain putting him on the DL from April 21-May 14. "Just build it back up and go from there. I came back fine in 2009, the last time I had this." This Crain injury means the White Sox have six rookie relievers and Matt Thornton in their bullpen, although Addison Reed, Nate Jones and Hector Santiago are the "seasoned veterans" of that group. Crain could have forced his way through this soreness but understands his veteran presence will be greatly needed during the season's final two months for American League Central-leading White Sox. "You learn a lot your first year in the big leagues," Crain said. "But once August comes around, you have a whole other month and you are not used to playing that many games in the Minor Leagues. With this game, a lot of guys can pitch, but the biggest thing is mental, especially being in the bullpen. Our guys have kept their confidence no matter what. "We have half the season left and I'm a big piece of that bullpen. I need to take these five games and All-Star break, rather than try and push through to pitch a game or two before the All-Star break. Hopefully this time will get me up to 100 percent where I'll be good the whole second half."
Sale likely to start in first series of second half
CHICAGO -- With Chris Sale making his final first-half appearance during Tuesday's 19-2 victory over the Rangers, the first-year starter will have at least a 10-day break, aside from his first All-Star appearance Tuesday in Kansas City.
The White Sox could extend that break even longer into their second-half-opening 10-game road trip to manage his rising innings total, now sitting at 102 2/3 to go with his 2.19 ERA, but manager Robin Ventura indicated Sale would work during that opening series against the Royals."I have a decent idea that he would pitch in that first series when we get back," said Ventura. "Again, you look at what he does when he's [at the All-Star Game]. He'll probably throw an inning, and [we'll] just see how he feels when he gets back."" If Sale starts Saturday, July 14, against the Royals, he would pitch again the following Thursday in Boston and miss the weekend Tigers series. If Sale starts Sunday, July 15, against the Royals, he would face Detroit Friday, but miss the Red Sox.
Third to first
With the game-time temperature forecast to be around 100 for Thursday's game, after hot ones on Tuesday and Wednesday, Ventura hinted that some reserves could get starts. The White Sox played a humorous pregame Final Vote video on the center-field scoreboard in which Gordon Beckham impersonated Jake Peavy. Beckham had the Peavy mannerisms and buzzwords down perfectly, with the video followed by Chris Sale's plea to get the vote out for his teammate before Thursday's 3 p.m. CT deadline. A.J. Pierzynski caught his 1,500th game Wednesday, which is the most among active catchers and 30th all-time.