When he returns, Joe Kelly to add extra dimension to White Sox bullpen

The White Sox bullpen has already shown its depth. Anchored by closer Liam Hendriks and late-inning arms Kendall Graveman and Aaron Bummer, the Sox have also gotten strong contributions from relievers Bennett Sousa and Jose Ruiz.

When Joe Kelly (biceps nerve injury) returns, that group will get even deeper.

Manager Tony La Russa said Kelly recently had a “real good” throwing session at the team’s Arizona complex, pitching in the mid 90s with no discomfort. Even more encouragingly, La Russa said Kelly’s stamina showed improvement from his prior outing and is on track to face hitters soon.

“He’s doing well,” La Russa said.

Kelly’s arrival would add another personality to the bullpen mix, not to mention an arm with World Series experience. La Russa said Kelly provides “the whole package.”

“The dugout, there’s a lot of people in there, and when the team comes off the field, there’s a lot of guys,” La Russa said. “The bullpen, they’re like a little small club. And it’s good to have some characters down there, there’s some conversation. And we definitely have that going for us. But along with it, he’s going to add quality and depth to our bullpen.”

As for a rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte, La Russa said he thinks that’s the plan for Kelly, but with the reliever’s experience it might not be necessary.

For openers…

Tampa Bay used righty J.P. Feyereisen as an opener. The Rays have been at the forefront of the strategy, and La Russa said it’s something they use intelligently.

“I remember I was there in Boston when they did it. They didn’t do it because they wanted to spook everybody, they did it because their starters were hurt,” La Russa said. “And it’s just a really smart way to compete. If you do it once in a while, it does give you potential matchups, because you can go through a couple innings and change the look, don’t get to see the same guy over.”

Winning Ugly can wait

Sunday home games are usually reserved for the Sox’ 1983 “Winning Ugly” throwback alternate uniforms, but that wasn’t the case for the series finale with the Rays. Because of supply chain issues that have affected other teams around the sport, the Sox do not have their 1983 set and instead wore their standard home pinstripes on Sunday.

SOX AT GUARDIANS

Monday: Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Triston McKenzie (0-1, 2.57), 5:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM

Tuesday: Jimmy Lambert (0-1, 6.00) vs. Shane Bieber (0-0, 2.70),, 5:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM

Wednesday: Dylan Cease (2-0, 1.69) vs. Zach Plesac (0-1, 1.64), 5:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM

Thursday: Michael Kopech (0-0, 1.00) vs. Cal Quantrill (1-0, 3.72), 12:10 p.m., NBCSCH, 1000-AM

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