CHICAGO - Players wore hooded sweatshirts and stocking caps on the field for batting practice. This is football weather. The games should be moved to Soldier Field.
Manager Buck Showalter told reporters during his pregame session in the dugout that Nolan Reimold will return to the lineup Tuesday night. Reimold homered in the ninth inning in back-to-back games in Toronto, but he didn’t play yesterday because of cramping in his left leg.
“Just want to be careful,” Showalter said. “He’ll be in there tomorrow. We’ve got a left-hander (John Danks) tomorrow and we definitely want him ready for a cold, windy night. I’ll use him tonight if I have to.
“I’m trying to get Endy (Chavez) going a little bit, too. Same way with Nicky (Johnson). We know they’re going to be contributors. We’re trying to give them a couple days in a row and see if they can get untracked a little bit.
“Nolan will be in there tomorrow. I’m looking for Nolan to play the next three days. Hopefully, physically he’ll be fine. Completely behind him as a result of it.”
Nick Johnson is fortunate that he didn’t end up on the disabled list after being hit on the right hand yesterday by a Luis Perez pitch. Johnson has undergone numerous surgeries on his right wrist, and he had serious concerns while heading to first base.
“You could tell the look on his face, as many troubles as he’s had with his wrist and hand and stuff,” Showalter said. “That was not a comfortable move to first base, but he had good grip there. I think it’s kind of important to get him back out there, too, trying to get that behind him.”
Taylor Teagarden will be examined again by Dr. Thomas Tolli, who administered the two epidurals in the backup catcher’s back during spring training. Teagarden is making slow progress. He’s not close to being activated from the disabled list.
Reliever Matt Lindstrom’s back must be fine. He isn’t listed on the club’s medical report.
Showalter still insists that he’s comfortable with the composition of his bullpen, and he repeated that he doesn’t need a long man who can go four or five innings.
“If you need a four- or five-inning guy, you’re in for a long year,” Showalter said. “The way our bullpen’s constructed, we can make adjustments if we need to do it. I hope we don’t, but so far we’ve been able to withstand it.”
Showalter also noted that he’s got right-handers in the bullpen who can get out lefties, so it’s not a huge issue right now that Troy Patton is the only southpaw.
Showalter said he spoke to reliever Kevin Gregg a few times since yesterday’s meltdown in Toronto, when the right-hander allowed two inherited runners to score and was charged with three runs before getting the final out in the sixth inning.
“We know Kevin’s better than what he showed yesterday,” Showalter said.
“I said something to him right after the game, said something to him in the plane. He understands what’s going on. I talk to him every day in some form or fashion. I understand what he’s going through somewhat. Yesterday was a hiccup for us.
“Not to say that anybody else could have done anything differently, but we can’t pitch the same guys three days in a row. We’re going to have to shoulder the load around to keep everybody good and healthy and contributing.”
Gregg hadn’t pitched before the seventh inning since 2007. Is that really a big adjustment?
“I’ve never been in their shoes, so I can’t sit here and say nonchalantly that there’s not something to it, but Kevin’s pitched in different roles in his career,” Showalter said. “I know Kevin. He just wants to contribute and do whatever ... We talked about this. I think you’ll see him get better as we go along. He had a couple good outings. He was a pitch away from having a real good outing against the Yankees.”
Showalter said Wei-Yin Chen will work on normal rest for his next start. He’s getting two extra days now because of Thursday’s open date on the schedule and being flip-flopped with Jake Arrieta.
Update: Brad Bergesen lasted only 2 1/3 innings tonight for Triple-A Norfolk. He was charged with two runs and seven hits, with one walk and two strikeouts, and left with runners on the corners. He threw 67 pitches, 43 for strikes.
Update II: A.J. Pierzynski homered off Arrieta in the second inning to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. Arrieta retired the side in order in the first.
White Sox starter Philip Humber retired the first six Orioles.