The White Sox have considered a few in-house options to fill the void in their starting rotation until Jake Peavy is ready to return from shoulder surgery. Now we can add another familiar face to the list.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reported earlier this afternoon that the club is considering re-signing free agent right-hander Freddy Garcia. White Sox general manager Ken Williams told Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he hasn’t spoken with Garcia recently, nor has the club made a formal offer, but Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago has confirmed the team’s interest.
Padilla also hears that the Orioles and Yankees are still “considered to be interested” in Garcia, but that isn’t much different than what we heard early last week.
The 34-year-old Garcia went 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA over 28 starts with the White Sox last season. While he reached 157 innings for the first time since 2006, he struck out just 89 batters over 157 innings, averaging a career-low 5.10 K/9. For a guy who gives up nearly as many fly balls as he does grounders, that’s not all that promising.
While securing Garcia as an insurance policy makes some sense for the White Sox, the veteran right-hander would be squeezed out of a rotation spot once Peavy is ready to return, at least on paper. Of course, Garcia is related to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen by marriage, so his comfort level with the club can’t be discounted.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.