7/24/2014 9:03 P.M. ET
White Sox send Putnam to DL, recall Rienzo
By Patrick Donnelly / Special to MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The White Sox kicked off a seven-day road trip against two American League Central foes in a less-than-optimal way Thursday, placing reliever Zach Putnam on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Reliever Andre Rienzo was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to fill Putnam's spot on the roster, but not his role at the back end of the bullpen. Manager Robin Ventura said right-hander Jake Petricka is expected to get the first crack at any save opportunities that arise while Putnam is on the shelf.
Putnam was tagged with the loss against Kansas City on Wednesday when he entered a 1-1 game in the ninth inning and gave up an unearned run. Before that outing, he'd saved back-to-back wins over the Astros last Friday and Saturday. But Ventura didn't attribute Wednesday's loss to Putnam's injury.
"He'd been doing great," Ventura said. "Yesterday was just one of those days when they outlast you. I thought both pitchers [ Jose Quintana and the Royals' James Shields) were great, and Putnam, even in the last inning, he had a chance to get out of it without giving up a run. But you've got to figure out a way and move on."
Ventura categorized the injury as a minor one and indicated that he thought Putnam might not need the whole 15 days to recover. But in the best interests of a young pitcher, not to mention the rest of the bullpen, a trip to the DL was deemed the best option.
"It would've been really thin tonight to go out there and you're staying away from guys," Ventura said. "You're trying to get him healthy and make sure when they go back out there, they're 100 percent or as close to 100 percent as they can be."
Rienzo made 11 starts for the White Sox earlier this year, winning his first four decisions before dropping five straight starts between May 25 and June 21. After two bullpen outings, he was optioned to Charlotte on July 12 and went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two appearances -- one start - for the Knights. Rienzo joined the team in Minneapolis on Thursday and will be available to pitch if necessary.
Beckham trying to work way out of slump
MINNESOTA -- Gordon Beckham is in a slump at the plate, but manager Robin Ventura said he has no definite plans to give his scuffling second baseman a day off.
"In the end, the only way to get out of it is to be in there and play," Ventura said. "You've got to work your way out of it. You've got to be tougher than this. It's a tough thing to go through, but you've got to be just as tough, and he's doing that. So you just continue to fight the fight."
Beckham has put together some pretty dismal numbers of late. Entering Wednesday, he was 0-for-11 in his last three games, 1-for-22 in his last six games, and 4-for-59 in his last 15 games. But Ventura pointed to a second-inning at-bat in Wednesday's loss to Kansas City that just as easily could have turned Beckham's fortunes around.
"Even yesterday, bases loaded and he hits one hard, just at somebody," Ventura said of Beckham's grounder to third baseman Mike Moustakas that ended the inning. "If it's directed somewhere else, everything looks great and he knocked in a run with the bases loaded. He's putting it on the barrel, it's just not the perfect part of the barrel."
• The White Sox travel party was something of a skeleton crew heading into Minneapolis. Not only are pitching coach Don Cooper (vertigo) and bench coach Mark Parent (family reasons) expected to miss the entire series, but longtime play-by-play man Ken "Hawk" Harrelson is in Cooperstown, N.Y., this weekend as part of the White Sox contingent honoring former Sox slugger Frank Thomas and manager Tony La Russa as they enter the Hall of Fame on Sunday.
When asked if Cooper was feeling any better on Thursday, Ventura said, "He wasn't yesterday. I haven't talked to him today. It's tough. I know he wants to be here and do what he does, but he's not able to get up. I don't know -- it doesn't look like he's getting any better."
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.