The White Sox won’t be easing Gavin Floyd back into the rotation in his return from a sore elbow; he’ll start Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series against the rival Tigers.
The change pushes Francisco Liriano back to Friday, when he’ll face the Twins. By making the move, the White Sox are essentially saying they have more faith in Floyd right now, even though he won one of his last six starts before going on the DL.
The respective records of each against the Tigers certainly played a role in the White Sox’s thinking here. Floyd has faced Detroit twice this season and gone 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. Last year, he was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three starts against them.
Liriano, on the other hand, has given up seven runs and walked nine in 7 1/3 innings versus Detroit this year. He was 1-2 with a 10.32 ERA against them last year.
The White Sox are currently two games up on the Tigers in advance of the series opener tonight. It looks like they’re battling for one postseason spot right now, given that there are a combined six teams with better records than either in the AL East and West.
Indians rookie outfielder Bradley Zimmer entered Thursday’s doubleheader against the Twins hitless in the month of August. Having appeared in 13 games, he failed to get a hit in 39 trips to the plate. He knocked in just one run, scored twice, and drew five walks with 16 strikeouts.
It looked like the streak might continue, as Zimmer struck out twice, bunted into an out, and reached on a fielder’s choice in his first four at-bats. Fortunately, he got to face Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. Perkins hadn’t pitched in a major league game since April 10, 2016. Zimmer grounded a single to right field, ending his 0-for-August skid which had reached 43 plate appearances and 36 at-bats.
On the season, Zimmer is batting .245/.316/.400 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, 33 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 275 PA.
The Twins announced, prior to the start of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Indians (the first game of a double-header), that reliever Glen Perkins was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Perkins had been sidelined since April 2016, recovering from left labrum surgery.
From 2013-15, Perkins served as the Twins’ closer, recording 102 saves with a 3.08 ERA. He appeared in only two games last season before going down with the injury.
Perkins appeared in the ninth inning of the first game Thursday with the Twins trailing 7-3. It did not go well. He gave up two runs on two hits, one walk, and two hit batsmen before being lifted. Alan Busenitz came in and induced an inning-ending double play from Francisco Lindor.
The Twins will likely ease Perkins back by continuing to use him in lower-leverage situations. Perkins has a club option worth $6.5 million for 2018 with a $700,000 buyout. The Twins picking up that option likely hinges on how Perkins fares down the stretch.