White Sox place Jake Lamb on IL with strained right quadriceps

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox placed Jake Lamb on the 10-day injured list and reinstated fellow outfielder Billy Hamilton from the IL.

The AL Central-leading White Sox also recalled first baseman Gavin Sheets from Triple-A Charlotte and optioned outfielder Luis Gonzalez to their top farm club.

AL MVP Jose Abreu was in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against Minnesota after the first baseman was hit on his left knee by a pitch on Sunday. Manager Tony La Russa said Abreu ran without a limp earlier in the day.

But third baseman Yoan Moncada was sidelined by a “barking” right shoulder, according to La Russa.

“I know he got some treatment and it’s still not right, so just not going to push it,” La Russa said.

The White Sox also announced center fielder Luis Robert has been cleared to increase his level of baseball activities at the team’s complex in Arizona. Robert tore his right hip flexor on May 2.

The move means Robert could be cleared for a minor league rehab assignment in approximately four weeks. There is no timetable for his return to the majors.

The 25-year-old Sheets, a second-round pick in the 2017 amateur draft, also was in the lineup for the series opener against the Twins, playing right field and batting seventh in his big league debut. He was with the White Sox for a couple of days earlier this month, but did not get into a game.

“He has been doing the job in Charlotte,” La Russa said. “Yeah, we could use some explosion out there when he comes to bat, so looking forward to it.”

Sheets was a first baseman growing up, but he started working in the corner outfield spots to help improve his chances of making it to the majors.

“A lot of hard work went in behind this, and it’s exciting to see it pay off,” Sheets said. “But more importantly, coming to help this team out. I mean we’re still (in) first place and playing a rival, so it’s fun for that to be the first start.”

The 6-foot-5 Sheets batted .292 with seven homers and 33 RBIs in 41 games with Charlotte. Sheets’ father, Larry, played for Baltimore, Detroit and Seattle during eight years in the majors.

Asked about any advice he had received from his father, Gavin Sheets said he told him to “continue to play the game you love.”

“The biggest thing he told me was have fun with it,” Gavin Sheets continued. “As long as you’re having fun and doing what you love, the rest will take care of itself.”

The 30-year-old Lamb has a strained right quadriceps. He is batting .224 with five homers and 10 RBIs in 31 games in his first season with Chicago.

“When they did the MRI, it was in there where you could see it was more than just hang with it for two or three days. It’s going to be at least a 10-day,” La Russa said. “But I don’t think it’s all that serious where it won’t heal sooner rather than later.”

Hamilton was placed on the IL on June 6 with a strained right oblique. He is batting .217 with two homers, 10 RBIs and five steals in 36 games for the AL Central leaders.

Hamilton, 30, has been a switch-hitter, but he will be a right-handed batter for now because he said he still feels the injury on some swings from the left side.

Gonzalez, 25, went 2 for 8 in six games with the White Sox after he was recalled from Charlotte last week. He got his first big league hit when he doubled during Wednesday’s 4-3 win at Pittsburgh.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.