8/6/2014 6:11 P.M. ET
Flowers comfortable in role with White Sox
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Tyler Flowers is a confident catcher.
That confidence doesn't come solely from a .440 average posted over his past 16 games but just as much from knowing what he has meant to the White Sox starting rotation and pitching staff by being consistently behind the plate this season. So when Flowers hears rumors about potential White Sox interest in other backstops, for the present or the future, he doesn't flinch.
"Honestly, I welcome the challenge with some of the guys that the rumors have been about," Flowers told MLB.com Wednesday. "I'll take my chances against those guys.
"We start trading for Yadier Molina, I might have to reassess," added Flowers with a smile. "But other than that, I'm confident in myself and the abilities I have and my relationship with the starters and the pitchers we have here and the staff and all."
Those rumors started back in Spring Training, when there was unfounded talk of the White Sox interest in the Yankees' Francisco Cervelli. The rumors that centered on Jason Castro -- a left-handed hitter who batted .276 with a .350 on-base percentage as recently as 2013 with the Astros -- make a little more sense with the White Sox in need of future offense from that side of the plate.
While Flowers certainly knows there is room for improvement in his game -- just as there is for the entire organization -- he also understands his overall value.
"I've established a pretty good work ethic [with the pitchers], and those kinds of things that are not really valued in statistics but are an imperative part of the game," Flowers said. "At the end of the season, at first you take a breather and assess your own self in the mirror.
"Then you kind of put some thought to those things [concerning future role]. But in the situation I'm in and for a lot of guys, your opinion really doesn't matter. It's whatever they want to go in their direction and those kind of things."
Eaton sustains back bruise after wall collision
CHICAGO -- Adam Eaton thought he had a chance to catch Adam Rosales' second-inning homer during the Rangers' 3-1 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
Instead, Eaton had a full-speed meeting with a post on the right-center field fence as Rosales' drive carried out for a two-run shot. The White Sox center fielder, leadoff hitter and spark plug had the wind knocked out of him and exited the game with a bruised lower back. But Eaton realizes it could have been worse, as X-rays were negative.
"I've never done that before. I'm a little embarrassed," Eaton said after the White Sox lost for the fourth time during this six-game homestand. "But my back kind of took a beating a little bit there. I'm very happy that it wasn't my head. I thought that I went into the wall pretty hard.
"A ball hit earlier in the game kind of had the same trajectory off the bat. My initial read was it had the same, maybe a little bit more. The ball just kept going. My main objective is to catch it. I kind of miscalculated a little bit."
Eaton said that right fielder Dayan Viciedo was trying to move him after the collision, but he told Viciedo to leave him alone because he couldn't even breathe.
"The first thing you do after hitting the wall, you collect your body parts and make sure everything is working right," Eaton said. "I'm glad it wasn't a concussion or anything like that."
"He's going after everything, that's just the way he plays," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You don't want to take that away from him. He has done the same thing and made some great catches. That's part of playing the game. It wasn't necessarily silly. He thought he had a shot at it, and it ended up carrying out of the ballpark."
Taking the four hour-plus plane ride to Seattle will influence whether Eaton can come back quickly. But it sounds as if he knows the collision with the fence could cost him at least a day or two.
"Either way, I'm going to be yanking at Robin's chain, but in the end it's his decision whether to play me or not," Eaton said. "Coming out of a game, I know he has a thing that you miss the next game or you are day to day."
Dealing with vertigo, Cooper doesn't make trip to Seattle
CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura confirmed Wednesday that pitching coach Don Cooper will not make the trip to Seattle because of his ongoing battle with vertigo.
Cooper is the leader of the White Sox staff, although as John Danks pointed out Tuesday night, bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen is a knowledgeable pitching mind and in on all the meetings. So the team's recent struggles can't be directly tied to Cooper's absence.
"You would like to have him back," said Ventura of the effect caused by Cooper's absence over 13 games, non-consecutively. "I don't know if it's 16 runs worth, but we'd like to have him back and be here working. I'd like to have him here. He would like to be here. Pitchers would like him to be here. But I don't think it's 16 runs worth.
"He's just not feeling any better. 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."
Avisail's aggressive rehab impressing White Sox
CHICAGO -- The 8-for-15 start for Avisail Garcia to his injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte not only is encouraging but also a testament to his intense work in trying to come back from a torn rotator cuff and avulsion fracture in his left shoulder. The injuries the outfielder suffered on April 9 were originally diagnosed as season-ending.
"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," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Garcia. "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.
"He just needs more time. 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."
Garcia has yet to play the outfield, but certainly figures to return in August. That move would create an interesting roster decision, although general manager Rick Hahn said the team would actively pursue trade possibilities in August.
"It's possible," said Ventura of Garcia's August return. "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."
Third to first
• Retiring White Sox captain Paul Konerko will be honored by the team throughout the month of September with tributes and a special promotional calendar for fans in each of the month's 11 home games.
The month-long celebration includes the creation of "Club Konerko" in Sections 158 and 159 (total of 1,176 seats). "Club Konerko" includes the blue seat (Section 159, Row 7, Seat 4) where Konerko's grand slam landed during Game 2 of the 2005 World Series.
• Barring a setback, reliever Zach Putnam is expected to be activated from the disabled list and rejoin the team Friday in Seattle.
• The White Sox game on Aug. 24 at the Yankees, originally listed as TBA, has been set for 12:05 p.m. CT on Comcast SportsNet.
• Conor Gillaspie's batting average has not fallen below .300 all season. His low was .302 on April 21.
• Ventura said the White Sox have yet to discuss September callups from the Minor Leagues.