Paul Konerko is off the disabled list after missing essentially the past month with a lower back strain. Konerko was actually activated from the DL on July 2, but aggravated the back injury in his first game and went right back on the shelf.
This time around manager Robin Ventura plans to use Konerko regularly at designated hitter in an effort to keep him healthy, so he may end up splitting first base duties with Adam Dunn. He went 4-for-10 during a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A.
Before the DL stint(s) Konerko was having the worst season of his career at age 37, hitting just .249 with seven homers and a .682 OPS in 67 games, which represents a 175-point drop in OPS compared to last season.
White Sox starter Iván Nova was able to escape a jam in the third inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Astros with the help of a triple play. Nova had allowed a leadoff double to Tony Kemp, then hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch to put runners on first and second base with no outs. Facing Jake Marisnick in a 1-1 count, Nova threw a 94 MPH fastball that Marisnick sharply grounded to Yoán Moncada right at the third base bag. Moncada quickly fired the ball to Yolmer Sánchez at second base, then Sánchez whipped the ball to José Abreu at first base just ahead of a lunging Marisnick to complete the triple-killing.
According to Baseball Almanac, it’s the 718th known triple play dating back to 1876. The last time the White Sox turned a triple play was 2016. They turned three triple plays that season, amusingly. The Astros have been victimized by two of the last three triple plays, having also hit into one on April 19 last year against the Mariners.