Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz is back from the disable list after missing the past six weeks with an axillary abscess on his right side, but he won’t be stepping back into the closer role.
In his extended absence Shawn Tolleson grabbed hold of ninth-inning duties, converting 11 straight save chances with a 1.65 ERA since May 20, so Feliz will be worked back into the bullpen mix as a setup man.
And that role suits him better at this point anyway, because the former Rookie of the Year winner and All-Star closer hasn’t been the same since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery and struggled this season before going on the disabled list.
The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.
Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.
As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.