8/12/2014 2:31 P.M. ET
Konerko sees finish line quickly approaching
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Paul Konerko sat in the visitors' clubhouse Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field, preparing for his final career game against the Mariners, and fully understanding the end to a stellar 16-year run with the White Sox is near.
"I can say this statement: I will be an ex-baseball player next month," Konerko said. "It's the truth. Since the All-Star break, it's becoming more real. It's there, you know. You can feel it coming. But like everything, I'm trying to spin it to where it's not a bad thing.
"It's just part of the life cycle of the player. I've been lucky to play for a long time. I'm trying not to look at it as a sad occasion. I hope nobody else is. I'm graduating on to other things and there's a time for this. Every player has to go through this stuff. I'm lucky because mine came a lot later than most. I feel lucky for that."
Konerko stands as one of eight active players who played at the Kingdome, joining Raul Ibanez, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Carlos Beltran, Torii Hunter, David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski. When he faced Neal Cotts on Wednesday against Texas, they stood as two of six active players who also were part of the 2005 White Sox World Series championship run along with Pierzynski, Brandon McCarthy, Juan Uribe and Mark Buehrle.
Those are the sorts of factoids attached to your name when playing close to two decades in the big leagues. His time in Chicago will rightfully be honored by the White Sox at home games during September, including the creation of Club Konerko in Sections 158 and 159, which features the blue seat (Section 159, Row 7, Seat 4) where Konerko's grand slam landed during Game 2 of the '05 World Series sweep.
Though Konerko isn't much for the farewell accolades, he's honored by the White Sox special recognition.
"There's no way around it for me," said Konerko, smiling. "It's not something I'm really looking for when I came back to play. Those things, anybody who knows me, I'm definitely not looking forward to those types of things.
"I'm very lucky that I'm in that situation where people want to do that stuff for me. I want to finish it right. And I know that includes having to deal with that kind of stuff. I see it big picture. But you know me: the daily-basis stuff, I'm a little uncomfortable with it."
Lindstrom returning for series against Giants
SEATTLE -- Matt Lindstrom threw a scoreless inning against Pawtucket on Saturday night, allowing one hit and striking out one, during his injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. The right-hander made five appearances in testing the surgically repaired tendon sheath in his left ankle that has had him sidelined since May 19, and that apparently was enough to convince the White Sox he's ready to return.
Following Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Mariners, the White Sox optioned left-handed reliever Eric Surkamp to Charlotte. They activated Lindstrom, who was injured in a game against the Royals, prior to Tuesday night's game in San Francisco.
"Lindy's ready to come off," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's been throwing good, so that's the move."
This move leaves the White Sox without a left-hander in the bullpen, most likely until September callups. But Ventura was somewhat blunt in his assessment as to why the White Sox chose that particular direction.
"You can have a lefty down there just to have a lefty, or you go with guys who are doing it," Ventura said.
Surkamp finished with a 7.11 ERA after retiring Dustin Ackley in the seventh inning Sunday. But he also allowed only 3-of-18 inherited runners to score and limited first batters to two hits in 16 at-bats. Left-handed hitters were 4-for-24 vs. Surkamp but with three homers.
Phegley not forgotten at Triple-A Charlotte
SEATTLE -- Prior to Saturday night's 0-for-4 effort, International League pitchers were having a tough time shutting down Josh Phegley. The catcher had 11 hits in his previous 19 at-bats, including three home runs, while driving in 13 and scoring eight runs.
Phegley played 65 games and had 213 plate appearances for the White Sox in 2013 and figures to be a September callup. He didn't need this hot streak, though, to remind the White Sox of his ability.
"We have all the confidence in the world that he's going to be a Major League player. If it's not right now, it will take some time," said White Sox bench coach Mark Parent, who works with the catchers. "And it may not be with us. Maybe somebody else. You never know. He's a good piece. He's something other teams like."
When Phegley didn't break camp with the team out of Arizona, giving way to Tyler Flowers and Adrian Nieto, he was talked to about improving how he received the ball and the way he ran the game. He also started off strong at the plate when he came to the Majors last year but faded a bit and hit .206 with a .223 on-base percentage.
"It got to a point where he struggled last year because they found a few holes that he had," said Parent of Phegley, who is hitting .286 with a .344 on-base percentage for Charlotte. "Sometimes it's not being able to hit the sliders. It's just not swinging at the [pitch].
"For me last year, he was there to hit. You need the whole package. You need to be able to run the game and take charge, take command. The game was just a little bit fast for him in that regard, what was expected of him. So, he was aware of that being sent down this year. Hopefully he's working at it and he can show what he can do with next opportunity."
Surkamp glad flying glove avoided contact
SEATTLE -- If Eric Surkamp had better aim with his glove, the White Sox might have suffered a walk-off loss Saturday night of the oddest of varieties.
Pinch-runner Chris Denorfia was on first base with one out in the ninth inning of a 1-1 tie, when the left-handed Surkamp was brought in to face the left-handed-hitting Kyle Seager. Seager hit a grounder up the middle that Surkamp spun quickly and appeared to throw his glove at, although Surkamp said it was an accidental move. According to Rule 7.05c, a runner is awarded three bases, "if a fielder deliberately throws his glove at and touches a fair ball."
"I wasn't thinking of it at the time that it happened," said Surkamp, who added his hand was kind of sweaty and the glove flew off when he tried to make a stab at it. "After the fact, I kind of knew. I've always known that was a rule. Just lucky that didn't hit the ball."
The White Sox four-game losing streak came to an end in the 10th inning, after Seager's grounder against Surkamp resulted in a double play.
"That would have been a tough way to lose," Surkamp said.
"At least the ball went past, but I was a little concerned," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I've seen it happen before, where a guy threw his glove and hit it. I think the game would have been over. I think it's a triple, isn't it? That would have been a bummer."
Third to first
• Jose Quintana will start Wednesday afternoon's game against the Giants, with the White Sox having the chance to bring him back on regular rest because of Monday's scheduled off-day. Scott Carroll, who has dealt with blister problems of late, will be skipped Wednesday and return to the rotation during the next homestand.
• Adam Dunn broke an 0-for-19 skid with two singles in his first two at-bats during Sunday's loss.
• Ventura had high praise for closer Jake Petricka, who picked up his eighth save Saturday night.
"I don't think anybody has grown as much bullpen-wise as Jake has," Ventura said of the right-hander's in-season development.
• Tyler Danish, who threw six no-hit innings for Class A Winston-Salem on Saturday night, has a 4-1 record with a 0.81 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings over his last eight starts.
• The White Sox have lost 12 games this season after holding a lead of two or more runs in the sixth inning or later, including three when they led by four-plus runs in the eighth.