Dylan Covey’s breakout tested by groin injury

It's unclear whether he'll miss time, but resilience is one thing he needs to prove regardless

Last year, Dylan Covey’s season was mercifully interrupted by an oblique injury. He did what he could to downplay it in terms of his words after the game — “Hopefully this will be a short little recovery” and “see how it feels in the morning” — but I thought his delivery gave it away.

Watching him discuss the groin injury that knocked him out of Saturday’s start … and then cross-checking that video against one where he talks about a subpar outing with no health issues involved … maybe Covey always sounds on-the-verge-of-emotional when the topic isn’t fun, and last year’s prolonged absence was just a somewhat educated guess based on the time he’d previously missed with an oblique strain.

So here’s how he described it:

“After the fourth (inning), I threw a pitch,” Covey said. “I don’t remember what the play was. I was kind of jogging off the mound. It felt funny. It didn’t hurt really. I sat down and came out for the fifth and it kind of cooled down a little bit and I could feel it in my warmups.

“My drag (right) leg was not really painful, but nagging me. I was bracing every pitch for something. It was affecting the quality of my pitches.”

And when Covey asked whether he’d make his next start, he responded, “I hope so. I think tomorrow will be a test to see how it feels, how I bounce back. I’m hoping not to miss any time.”

If I had to wager, I’m guessing Covey will miss some time, whether it’s because the injury is legit or because there’s no reason to push him. Regarding the former, his lack of durability is the main reason why I haven’t been as enthusiastic about Covey’s medium-term prospects as Patrick. As for the latter, the oblique strains limited him to an average of 55 regular-season innings over 2016 and 2017, and he’s already at 83 innings between Charlotte and Chicago this year. This episode might give the Sox a reason to give him a 10-day breather, because he’ll still be on a pace to break new ground with his workload.

Should Covey need time off, they can go a few routes.

No. 1: Manipulate the off day. The Sox are idle on Monday, so they could skip Covey’s rotation spot temporarily by keeping everybody else on regular rest the next turn. This seems unlikely, as the Sox will play 13 straight afterward, including a bizarre Texas-Cincinnati-Houston road trip.

No. 2: A boring route. Hector Santiago doesn’t really have a whole lot to do in the bullpen, what with Xavier Cedeno, Luis Avilan and Jace Fry hogging all the lefty opportunities.

No. 3: Another boring route. Donn Roach has a 2.75 ERA in 14 starts with Charlotte this year. Part of it’s a decent ground-ball rate (55 percent), and part of it is some crazy home run suppression (just 4.3 percent of his flies are homers). He last appeared in the majors in 2016, making four relief appearances for the Mariners.

No. 4: The fun one. Michael Kopech has walked 21 batters to just 20 strikeouts over 16 innings in June, so I’m guessing they’d want to see at least one start where he exhibits good command before calling him up, considering Rick Hahn’s rhetoric over this time.

Whatever the case, it won’t be Miguel Gonzalez. Gonzalez is active and throwing, so much so that he begins a rehab assignment in Charlotte today as he comes back from rotator cuff inflammation, but he said he’ll need three or four starts to build up his arm strength.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Bberdl20

What about calling up Jordan Stephens? I know he only has 8 AAA starts but he’s already 25 and has been throwing the ball very well. I’m assuming he’s on the 40 man roster and he hasn’t exhausted any options yet. Seems like a more viable option than Kopech or Roach.

NDSox12

Stephens is not on the 40 man. But neither are Kopech or Roach.

lil jimmy

I always like to see Miggy, and Hector…. in the dugout. On the mound, not so much. And while I’m at it, Chris Volstad, yuck.

ParisSox

Ha!  Nice slip.  
“ limited him to an average of 55 regular-season injuries over 2016 and 2017, and he’s already at 83 innings between Charlotte and Chicago this year. ”

PauliePaulie

Sorry I can’t link it. There’s a blurb from RR in Fangraphs today about the possibility that social media criticism may have gotten into Yoan Moncada’s head.

fustercluck

dammit, KenWo

karkovice squad

Rick Renteria delved into the impact of social media when asked how Yoan Moncada is dealing with the scrutiny that comes with being a high-profile prospect in his first full MLB season.

“We talk about noise a lot, and that’s part of the noise — living up to the 24-7 cycle of information being provided to players,” said the White Sox skipper. “I think he’s handling it as well as anybody could. Like any young person living in today’s modern age of information and media awareness… they like their ‘likes’ and they want to know why someone dislikes them.

“Hopefully they learn as quickly as possible that there’s a perspective to keep in sight, so that they’re not consumed by all of it. Don’t not appreciate it. Handle it to the best of your ability. Handle the boos as well as you handle the applause.”

https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/sunday-notes-snapshots-from-sabr-48-in-pittsburgh/

Marty34

Was at the game yesterday. If you’re tailgating please leave your 4 speaker sound system at home. Nobody else felt the need to bring theirs. If you have to bring your sound system can you not play explicit music? Thanks for indulging me.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Sorry. I just bought “A Night With Englebert Humperdink”, and I just wanted to share with everyone.

Marty34

Come on now wasn’t you. It’s common knowledge Englebert errors out when attempting to play on modern sound systems.