Astros to start Luis Garcia in Game 3 at Guaranteed Rate Field
HOUSTON — Left-hander Carlos Rodon remains in play as a starter for Game 3 or Game 4 (if necessary) in the ALDS, White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Friday.
La Russa said Rodon would have been announced by now if not for uncertainty about Rodon’s shoulder, but there seems to be growing optimism from pitching coach Ethan Katz and even La Russa, who has sounded pessimistic regarding Rodon’s level of effectiveness since he came off the injured list.
“The fact that we’re still optimistic means that he’s showing enough,” La Russa said Friday, “but the throws he’s got to make between now and Sunday and Monday, they dictate. He throws, you see how he reacts. Just don’t know for sure, and he doesn’t know for sure. We’ve had a lot of talks about it.”
The Sox will announce Sunday’s starter for Game 3 at Guaranteed Rate Field (7:07 p.m.) on Saturday, an off day, before the team works out at the ballpark. It will be Dylan Cease or Rodon, La Russa said.
Rodon pitched five scoreless innings against the Reds in his last start last Wednesday, but his four-seam fastball velocity was in the low 90s, and his slider, one of the best in baseball, wasn’t always as sharp as normal. He gave up one run over 14 innings in two starts against the Astros this season.
Astros manager Dusty Baker said right-hander Luis Garcia will start Game 3. Jose Urquidy is the likely choice if a Game 4 is necessary.
“That was a big topic of discussion on who we were going to go with at Game 3,” Baker said.
Garcia, one of the AL’s top rookies in 2021, posted a 3.30 ERA, started Game 5 of the ALCS against Tampa Bay last season as an opener.
Lucas Giolito (11-9, 3.53) goes against Astros lefty Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14) in Game 2 Friday (1:07 p.m.).
1. Tim Anderson SS
2. Luis Robert CF
3. Jose Abreu 1B
4. Yasmani Grandal C
5. Eloy Jimenez LF
6. Yoan Moncada 3B
7. Andrew Vaughn DH
8. Leury Garcia 2B
9. Adam Engel RF
The original lineup had Abreu listed at designated hitter. Abreu DH’d in the Sox’ 6-1 loss in Game 1 Thursday, still fighting effects of the flu, but appeared to be in much better spirits during batting practice Friday.
“Today we came with more engergy,” Moncada said through translator Billy Russo, “and we’re just ready for today’s game.”