Preview: Twins vs. White Sox
Stephen Gonsalves will make his major league debut Monday night when the Minnesota Twins open a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox at Target Field.
The left-hander, ranked as the Twins’ No. 5 prospect this season by MLBPipeline.com, went 12-3 with a 2.76 ERA and 95 strikeouts in 100 1/3 innings between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester this season.
“I was actually struggling a little bit walking everyone,” said Gonsalves, who issued 55 walks. “I was effectively wild, not mixing in a whole lot of hits. I’ve missed bats in the past with good changeups and good spin. Hopefully, we can just go from there.”
Gonsalves gets his chance because Minnesota put veteran right-hander Ervin Santana back on the disabled list after he reported issues with his right middle finger.
“I have a little bit of discomfort right now, that’s why we shut it down,” Santana said. “Mostly the grip, that’s where most of the pain is. You need to get it right before you do anything else. I’m going to shut it down and try to recover as fast as I can.”
Santana, 35, underwent surgery on the same finger in February and was expected to return in late April or early May. He didn’t make his 2017 debut until July 25 thanks to a series of setbacks. He made nine starts for Minnesota this season and was largely ineffective in those outings, going 0-1 with an 8.03 ERA in 24 2/3 innings.
He’ll seek a second opinion on the finger later this week but could miss the remainder of the season — his last under a four-year, $55 million contract signed ahead of the 2015 season.
“It’s a combination of some discomfort, and I don’t think it’s working quite as well,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We all see how it’s been going to this point. I’m not sure where it’s going to go from here, but we just thought it made sense at this time rather than run him back out there on Tuesday. I don’t know when the next time he’ll pitch is going to be.”
Gonsalves will be facing a White Sox team riding high after winning four of its last five games, including a 7-6 victory Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals.
Right-hander Lucas Giolito gets the ball for the series opener, looking to keep the momentum going both for the team as well as himself.
He overcame a rough start to work six innings in a 6-3 victory over Detroit on Tuesday. Giolito struck out seven in that outing, giving him 20 in his last three starts spanning 18 innings.
“You can see his growth in the last two games,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s not fighting things as much as he was earlier. He has a better feel for his breaking ball his last three or four outings.”
Giolito carries a 6.15 ERA into the game but has two quality starts this month.
“I want to prove that as a starting pitcher I can get out of a jam early in the game and I can give you more solid innings,” Giolito said. “It’s an adjustment to be able to control the pace of a game in the big leagues. I think I’ve learned a lot this season.”