White Sox closer Matt Lindstrom to miss at least 3 months
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter May 21, 2014 11:00PM
Updated: June 24, 2014 7:46AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The fear that closer Matt Lindstrom would be out beyond 15 days on the disabled list became a reality Wednesday. The White Sox said the 34-year-old right-hander will have surgery to repair a tear in the sheath of his left ankle that protects the peroneal (outer) tendons.
Recovery time is three months, which means Lindstrom, who is in the final year of a contract that pays him $4 million this season, would only pitch again for the Sox this year if surgery, recovery and rehab go off without a hitch.
Lindstrom, who was given the closer’s job out of spring training, turned his ankle attempting to field a bunt Monday night against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. He saved six games in his first season as the Sox’ ninth-inning man while posting a 3.32 ERA.
‘‘It’s not good news,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘Right now we’re just hoping everything goes well for him and he can get back as soon as he can.’’
Ronald Belisario pitched the ninth in the Sox’ 7-6 win on Tuesday and is expected to assume the role.
‘‘We’re going to have to [go with Belisario],’’ Ventura said. ‘‘These are the guys that we have, and I think Belly has pitched well enough to be that guy to step in and do it. He can go multiple innings if you need him to. Right now I think him just stepping in that spot, and everybody just needs to fill in and figure it out.’’
Former Los Angeles Dodger Javy Guerra was called up from Class AAA Charlotte on Tuesday to take Lindstrom’s spot on the roster. Guerra saved 21 games in 23 chances as a rookie in 2011. Belisario (3.96 ERA), who is tied for second in innings pitched among American League relievers with 26, has allowed one earned run over his last 18 1/3 innings covering 13 games. His first save with the Sox was the fifth of the former Dodger’s career.
Abreu feeling better
Home run leader Jose Abreu received an injection for the inflammation in his left ankle and is feeling better. He’s in a walking boot, and while there is no timetable for his return, the Sox hope to have him back for the first two weeks of June when they play on the road against the Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels before returning home to play the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers and Royals.
Who’s on first?
In Abreu’s absence, Adam Dunn started all three games at first base, while Paul Konerko — probably a better fielder than Dunn — was the designated hitter. Konerko played first in Houston on Sunday.
‘‘Just depends on how it goes and who looks tired,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘Right now we’re doing all right with Dunner out there. I’m sure Paul [will play first] over the weekend.’’
Dunn remains two homers behind Jeff Bagwell
and Vladimir Guerrero (449) for 36th all-time; Konerko is two shy of tying Andre Dawson and Jason Giambi (438) for 41st.
The Sox requested waivers on infielder Jeff Keppinger for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release. Keppinger, who was designated for assignment May 14, is in the second year of a three-year, $12 million contract.