Lucas Giolito, AJ Pollock nearing returns to White Sox

CLEVELAND — While the White Sox were getting postponed for a second consecutive day due to bad weather, the day was not a complete washout.

Right-hander Lucas Giolito tested his lower abdominal strain throwing a simulated game at the team’s training complex in Glendale, Ariz., on Tuesday, and assuming the Opening Day starter emerged from it feeling 100 percent, he stands a good chance of pitching for the Sox in another five days.

And one of the hitters who faced Giolito was outfielder AJ Pollock, who was giving his right hamstring a test. Pollock could be ready to rejoin the Sox Friday when they open a weekend series against the Twins in Minnesota, manager Tony La Russa said. Decide for yourself whether Pollock hitting a double against Giolito is an outcome that’s good for the Sox.

Either way, the best outcome is both players could be back soon for a team that has weathered an onslaught of injuries with a 6-3 record through its first three series.

“The thing that pleases me the most is that it’s clear we’re competing and the three games we lost we had a chance to win,” La Russa said.

“We were there. We play with our hearts and with our guts. And I always give credit to the other side, they’re trying to win, too. We’re like in a survivor mode without some of these guys, but we’re surviving.”

Giolito, who pitched four scoreless innings before leaving the Opener, was said to be throwing with his normal velocity and stuff Tuesday. He sustained the strain during the fourth inning of his start against the Tigers on Opening Day and landed on the 10-day injured list four days later. He was going to throw in Cleveland Tuesday but was coaxed into avoiding the cold and going to Glendale where it was 98 degrees. La Russa was “anxiously” awaiting word on how the outing went for Giolito, who got up for three innings.

“Depends on how he feels today,” said La Russa who was sounding an optimistic tone. “But he’s there. We’ve got quality guys watching him. He’s a veteran, he knows how he feels.”

The weather looks better Wednesday for a straight doubleheader (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM) making up for Tuesday’s postponed game. Sox left-hander Dallas Keuchel will oppose Cleveland right-hander Shane Bieber in Game 1, and Lambert starts for the Sox against righty Triston McKenzie in Game 2. In the final game of the series Thursday, Zach Plesac pitches for the Guardians against Dylan Cease.

Monday’s game was called off because of snow and cold weather. There was no precipitation in the area Tuesday but temperatures were in the upper 30s with 20-30 mph winds off of Lake Erie Tuesday afternoon. The expected high was 42 degrees with much colder wind chills.

“And the field in places, the grass is a little insecure and as it gets colder with the wind here, it’s going to get slippery as heck, it’s going to be a little dangerous,” La Russa said. “[Cleveland manager] Terry [Francona] and I both agreed, it’s not smart and the umpire agreed.”

Outfielder Adam Haseley will arrive from Triple-A Charlotte as the extra, 29th player for the doubleheader. With 10 relief pitchers, all fully rested for at least two days, and with outfielder Eloy Jimenez still a bit sore from taking a pitch off his ankle last Wednesday, an extra outfielder made the most sense, La Russa said.

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