Tigers, White Sox starters continue to try to prove themselves

DETROIT — High-profile Chicago right-hander Lucas Giolito and journeyman Detroit left-hander Ryan Carpenter will square off Saturday in a matchup of pitchers trying to carve out roster spots for themselves in 2019.

Giolito (9-9, 6.08 ERA) was the 16th overall selection by Washington in the 2012 draft. He has had some health issues that have taken a few ticks off his fastball but is trying to adjust. He’s making his 26th start for the White Sox this season.

Giolito is 1-1 with a 6.88 ERA in three starts against Detroit this season and is 2-1 with a 4.88 ERA in four career starts.

Carpenter (1-1, 6.00 ERA) was signed by the Tigers as a six-year free agent during the winter and received an early callup to Detroit when injuries created an opening. But he suffered a side injury and spent two months on the disabled list recuperating.

Carpenter, who is making his first appearance against the White Sox, was called up and posted his first major league win at Minnesota in his last start. This is his first year in the majors and he’s getting a shot at maintaining a rotation spot for the rest of the season.

He will replace left-hander Blaine Hardy, who is in his first year as a starter but recently was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. He will work out of the bullpen, giving Detroit two left-handed relievers, when he comes off the disabled list Monday.

Earlier this week, the Tigers called a players-only meeting to address how they need to finish the first year of a rebuilding effort.

“It was about the culture we want to create moving forward,” catcher James McCann said. “It’d be very easy for a team where we are right now to say, ‘All right, we’ll see you in spring training,’ but no, it’s gotta start now, and that’s just something we wanted to address, about how we handle our business both on and off the field and not allowing the results or lack thereof, affect how we prepare to play.

“And not just preparing to play, but preparing to win.”

“It’s great when coaches talk about it and the manager talks about it, but when players get together and talk about it, I like that,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I want them to understand what they’re trying to do. We got some good leaders in there. We gotta finish the season, we gotta play hard the rest of the way. They’ve done it up to this point; don’t quit now.”

Rick Renteria was back in the Chicago dugout Friday night managing the White Sox after missing four games with a spell of lightheadness. Doctors in Chicago cleared him to return to the team so he booked a flight to Detroit and got to the dugout just before game time.

Chicago scored six times in the eighth inning against Detroit right-handers Joe Jimenez and Shane Greene to post a 6-3 win Friday night over Detroit to mark Renteria’s return.

Bench coach Joe McEwing had been handling the managerial duties in those four games.

“I will resume my role as bench coach and Ricky will manage,” McEwing said. “Under the circumstances it’s not the way you’d want to go about it but it’s been a lot of fun.”

“We prepare the same anyway. As a staff, we go out there and try to be prepared for who we’re facing that night and how we’re going to play them defensively and how we’re going to pitch them. Who are the runners? Controlling the running game. And we prepare that way every single day. We prepare to try to put our ballclub in the best position to be successful.

“In that respect, everything stays the same on a daily basis. But being able to manage it and put your twist on it, it’s been a great learning experience and one that I never take for granted and continue to learn every single day and build on it.”

The White Sox announced right-hander Dylan Cease, one of their top pitching prospects, is being shut down for the season after reaching a career high of 124 innings between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.

Cease struck out 11 batters in five scoreless innings in his final appearance for the Barons. He had a 0.94 ERA in his last nine games, with 71 strikeouts and 20 walks in 47 2/3 innings. He was 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA between the two levels.

His 160 strikeouts were tied for fourth in minor league baseball. Right-hander Michael Kopech, just called up to Chicago, leads the minors with 170.