James Shields threw a 45-pitch bullpen session prior to the White Sox series opener against Boston. The right hander has been on the DL since April 21.
The Chicago White Sox pitching rotation could be getting a boost soon. Right hander James Shields threw a 45-pitch bullpen session prior to their series opener against Boston on Monday according to Scott Merkin of whitesox.com. The 35-year-old is hopeful he could make a rehab start on Saturday.
"“I think the plan is to possibly go out on Saturday and pitch about three or four innings. That’s my guess as of right now. We’ll see how it goes.”James Sheilds, White Sox Starting Pitcher"
The pitching rotation has been hit by injuries. Most notably, Carlos Rodon has yet to make his season debut. But then Shields went down with a right lat strain and has been on the disabled list since April 21. His return could add a much-needed boost to the starting rotation.
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Shields has been very durable over his career. In fact, this is the first time he’s landed on the DL. His return would give this team a boost. He is currently 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA in three starts this season. However, he did struggle most of last season. But if he can continue his hot start, that would really help the rotation. His return would also help the bullpen.
Shields may not be the pitcher he once was. But he has shown early on he has something left to offer. Last season he threw 181.2 innings, which was his lowest since 2006, his rookie season, in which he threw 124.2. Before last season, he went pitched over 200 innings in nine consecutive seasons. If he can come back and eat up innings, that would go a long way in helping an already overworked bullpen.
Nate Jones Throws Bullpen Session
Relief pitcher Nate Jones also threw a bullpen session. The right hander threw 25 pitches and said he worked in some sliders. Jones has been on the DL since May 4 with right elbow neuritis.
This was Jones’ fourth or fifth bullpen session, but there’s no word yet on if he could see a rehab start anytime soon.
"“We are taking steps in the right direction and if I wasn’t feeling good, I would probably not be throwing bullpen [sessions] and stuff.”Nate Jones, White Sox Relief Pitcher"
Jones has been a very important member of the White Sox bullpen since 2012. His return would also give a boost to the White Sox bullpen. Although they have been tremendous all season, Jones would definitely be able to make it even better.
Last season he made 71 appearances and had a 2.29 ERA. Prior to his injury, the 31-year-old was 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. We don’t know who would be sent down. But Rick Renteria may not have to decide that soon.
We’re still unsure when Jones will make a rehab appearance. When that happens, we will have a much better idea of when we can expect him back. Jones could be a trade candidate, so it’ll be important to keep an eye on his status.