As expected Paul Konerko is back in the White Sox’s lineup for tonight’s game, returning after missing 10 days with a concussion.
He’ll likely take things slow at first, serving as Chicago’s designated hitter instead of playing his usual first base, but Konerko reported no problems after taking batting practice earlier this week.
Konerko has been very productive this season, hitting .316 with 18 homers and an .892 OPS in 101 games at age 36, but the White Sox managed to go 5-3 in his absence to stay ahead of the Tigers in the AL Central.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.