The stage is almost set for the ALDS in Houston. Ahead of Thursday’s opening game, White Sox manager Tony La Russa met with the media to discuss several topics regarding the team. Here are the main takeaways from today’s developments.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu did not travel to Houston with the team on Tuesday. Per a press release from the club, Abreu has been dealing with flu-like symptoms in recent days.
Tests confirmed that his illness is not COVID-related. The Sox expect Abreu to travel to Houston tonight, but his status for Thursday’s ALDS Game 1 is still up in the air. The White Sox will make a decision on their star first baseman before the series-opening contest.
La Russa added that if Jose Abreu does not play Thursday, he’s confident the righty slugger will be in for Game 2 on Friday.
Abreu last played on October 2, the second-to-last game of the regular season.
Starting Pitching Situation
While there is some uncertainty surrounding Abreu, a highly-anticipated question among White Sox circles finally received some clarity.
La Russa confirmed that Lance Lynn will be the White Sox starting pitcher in Game 1 against the Astros.
Subsequently, Lucas Giolito will take the mound for Game 2 on Friday.
La Russa did not divulge who will get the ball in Game 3, but he did mention Dylan Cease as a candidate to start when the series shifts to Chicago on Sunday night.
Adding even more intrigue to the mix, the Sox skipper hinted at the possibility of pitchers throwing on short rest in the latter games of the series (if necessary).
When discussing past playoff pitching staff management, La Russa left the door open for Lynn to possibly make a second start in the series if it gets to a Game 4.
Lynn was up next at the podium, stating that he knew of his Game 1 starting status last week. Following up on La Russa’s comments about potentially pitching on short rest, the big right-hander embraced the challenge.
These developments naturally lead to questions about how the White Sox may handle Carlos Rodon’s usage. After dealing with shoulder fatigue and decreased velocity in the second half of the regular season, Rodon may find himself in a more abbreviated role as opposed to a traditional starting spot.
Only time will tell how the pitching situation plays out, but the aforementioned details are all we know for the time being.