Paul Konerko landed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion on Friday after taking an elbow to the head during a play at first base last Tuesday, but the White Sox are encouraged by his progress.
According to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Konerko underwent a battery of concussion tests at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago today and was cleared to begin limited physical activity tomorrow.
“Everything is looking good,” Ventura said. “(Tuesday) he’ll probably start riding bike and doing physical stuff. I don’t know if he will do a whole lot of baseball stuff, but he will start getting some activity in to see how that goes. But things are progressing.”
Konerko will likely be limited to riding a bike and perhaps playing catch before progressing to to other baseball activities. It remains to be seen how he’ll respond to the increased activity, but Ventura didn’t completely rule out the possibility that he could return when he’s first eligible Friday.
Konerko, 36, is batting .318/.388/.504 with 18 home runs, 54 RBI and an .892 OPS in 101 games played this season. The White Sox are 2-2 during his absence.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.