Avisail Garcia says next step is rehab assignment
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media July 19, 2014 10:48PM
Jose Altuve tags out Adam Eaton between second and first on a double-play ball hit by Alexei Ramirez in the fifth inning. | AP
Updated: August 21, 2014 7:07AM
Avisail Garcia was supposed to break out and establish himself as one of the American League’s best young players this season. Instead, 2014 has been a season of injury, pain and recovery.
But maybe there’s some light at the end of the tunnel for Garcia, who was ruled out for the season after tearing the labrum in his left shoulder April 9.
Garcia is taking one-handed swings with his left arm and said all he’s feeling is some tightness. There haven’t been any setbacks, and Garcia thinks the next step is a rehab assignment, though it’s unclear when that would be.
“Everything has been positive,’’ Garcia said. ‘‘They know what they’re doing, so they don’t want me to get hurt again. They just tell me to relax, easy, so now I’m good. They [checked] me out yesterday, and nothing hurts.”
If and when Garcia goes on a rehab assignment, it probably won’t be brief.
“Everybody’s different,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “On the other hand, you don’t necessarily want a guy down there exposing him to that as much if he could be up here doing it. What’s the right time? I don’t know.”
It’s not flying
U.S. Cellular Field is known as one of the AL’s best home-run parks. But in 2014, the stadium isn’t living up to that reputation.
Entering Saturday, the park was surrendering 1.78 homers per game, slightly below the AL average of 1.86 and well behind AL leader Yankee Stadium’s 2.57.
That difference from seasons past was noticeable Friday. Adam Dunn’s fourth-inning drive to left field landed on top of the fence, and Alexei Ramirez’s sharply hit ball in the seventh died on the warning track in left.
“[Friday] night, the wind was blowing in,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘Normally in the summer, the wind doesn’t blow in from left. We’ve been getting some weird winds, and I think [Friday] night, the balls were carrying more to right than they were to left. Usually, this is a park that carries to left.”
Of course, it could be a matter of time and higher temperatures before the Cell starts behaving the way it usually does.
“It’s been colder longer,” Paul Konerko said. “Anytime it’s colder into June, it’s no good. We’ve caught a couple of nights even in June where the wind was blowing across from left.”
The Sox won’t get credit for a perfect game, but between Friday and Saturday, they retired 29 consecutive Astros.
On Friday, Jose Quintana combined with relievers Daniel Webb, Ronald Belisario and Zach Putnam to get the last 22 Astros. That was followed by Hector Noesi getting the first seven Saturday before Enrique Hernandez’s one-out single in the third inning.
Entering play, the Astros were last in the AL in batting average (.237) and 14th in on-base percentage (.308).