Following up: Dylan Covey gets good news

Plus: Avisail Garcia's defense passes a test, and Jose Abreu expands his All-Star lead despite his worst month

Bad health luck has defined Dylan Covey’s career than anything else to date, but he might have finally caught a break.

Covey threw a bullpen session on Tuesday after leaving his last start early with a hip/groin issue, and Rick Renteria described him as “100 percent,” so he’s still penciled in to make his next start on schedule Friday.

“I don’t know exactly what it was,” Covey said. “We didn’t get any tests done but all the manual tests they did said my strength is good. Just probably like a cramp or something like that that was lingering a little bit. I was feeling it on the mound, so definitely thinking about it.

“If something doesn’t feel right on the mound, I’m aware of it, and it’s probably a good thing to get me out of there when they did before anything more serious happened to it. It’s definitely relieving. I feel good today enough to throw a side and get after it a little bit.”

That’ll shelve the Michael Kopech discussions for another week. Kopech bounced back from three worrisome starts to deliver a more classic line — four hits, two walks, nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings. He did so mainly on the strength of his fastball, though, so the conversation is back to, “Is his arsenal developed enough?” While that’s annoying, it’s better than the previous question, “Is something wrong?”

This is also a point of evidence to not read anything into Covey’s voice when he’s discussing something less than fun.

***

The metrics have liked Avisail Garcia’s defense more than fans have over the last two years — or at least 2016, because everybody felt OK about his All-Star breakout last season. They’re back to being cool on him this year, although 20 games isn’t nearly enough of a sample to determine anything.

I’ve settled on “inelegant, but not a liability,” and when you see Daniel Palka crashing around right field in his absence, it makes Garcia’s brand of fly-tracking a little easier to appreciate.

One of Palka’s more notable misplays happened back on May 4, when a Joe Mauer drive in his direction turned him around, and he couldn’t even come close to getting a glove on it.

And here’s Garcia in the fifth inning on Tuesday, dealing with basically the same exact drive off Mauer’s bat.

Garcia didn’t take a straight line to the ball, but his conservative approach minimized spinning in the event he underestimated the slice off the bat. In the end, the arc of his route bent toward justice.

A run scored on that catch, but considering the Twins had runners on first and third with nobody out and a run already home, that play might’ve bought Reynaldo Lopez an extra inning. Even if Palka’s reads had improved over his time as the primary starter in right field, I wouldn’t have liked his chances.

***

Jose Abreu has a healthy lead at first base in the American League All-Star balloting, holding a 318,000-vote advantage over fellow Cuban Yuli Gurriel.

Balloting ends on July 5, and maybe that can’t come soon enough. For one, the White Sox haven’t had a position player voted a starter since Frank Thomas in 1996. He’s also in the middle of a career-worst month, hitting .208/.245/.354 with just four walks to 21 strikeouts over 102 plate appearances.

When Abreu was asked about the All-Star vote totals, he opted for the self-effacing response.

“The fans know me better now,’’ he said. “I’m also realistic. Miguel is not playing, and Eric Hosmer is now playing in the National League. I’m happy, but maybe that’s why.’’

But he was hitting .290 when the vote totals first came out, and now he’s hitting .269. Is he scared of success? You be the judge.

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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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L2R

great catch (pun included) to find a Mauer hit that was almost identical to another in May. I will say that the ball was hit over the left shoulder both times but Palka being left handed contributed to his woes. Not defending his bad judgement, he should have caught it but the degree of difficulty is different even though it looks like the same ball being hit. He has to take a different angle than Avi did but will have to make those adjustments if he wants to play in the big backyard.

GrinnellSteve

I predict Jose will go off on one of his streaks beginning today.

Willardmarshall

“the arc of his route….” Every Margalus sentence is a chance for serendipity….

asinwreck

David Justice was ok on defense, so sure.

Lurker Laura

Yeesh, Daniel Palka defense. It should be a meme or something.

Anohito

Sure hope that last bit about Abreu isn’t worrying. We need someone who can shine in the spotlight/pressure and not stray away or worse crumble in it. I love Josavior so this is yeah, a bit worrying…

sgp2204

Don’t worry. Eloy was made for the spotlight. 

Anohito

I’ll admit that I’m so whooshed here that this is still whooshing me

jorgefabregas

He’s been hugely successful his whole career. He played well when ROTY was on the line. He had a harrowing journey of being smuggled, IIRC, and still played great in his rookie year. The idea that been the leading vote getter at his position would psyche him out is quite far fetched, thus the joke.

As Cirensica

When you use Avisail’s catch to assess how bad Palka’s attempt was, there is just no hope for Palka. Sell your gloves. Burn them. Gift them away.

Josh Nelson

But keep the batting gloves.

Reindeer Games

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers – Dylan Covey’s Burner Account

Eagle Bones

I don’t pay that much attention to the All-Star voting anymore, but I’m shocked Red Sox fans haven’t stuffed the ballot boxes to get Moreland in there.

knoxfire30

sounds like dunning is gonna go with rehab not surgery, out 6-8 weeks… lets hope it works

sgp2204

Really hope so. It’ll take 6-8 weeks before I know if I should be encouraged by this news or not. 

phillyd

Let’s hope for the short end of that timeframe. There are only 9.5 weeks left in the MiLB season.

lil jimmy

Longer is we make the playoffs.

Eagle Bones

At this point I think I might consider it a victory if he’s able to avoid surgery and be ready for next season (maybe fall ball if they want him to get some more innings).

sgp2204

Agreed. Pitching this year would be nice, but it isn’t really the issue. The biggest issue is if he ends up needing surgery in 6-8+ weeks, whether it be after pitching again or not. Then 2+ months of recovery time would’ve been wasted. 

itaita

I think he said something about agreeing with the BBWA about Lou Whitaker not being a hall of famer.

Trooper Galactus

Jim Bowden had a lovely trade suggestion in the Athletic: White Sox trade Jose Abreu to the Cardinals for 29-year old first baseman Jose Martinez and RHP prospect Ryan Helsley (MLB.com #4 organizational prospect). This sounded kinda stupid at face value, but would anybody consider that?

35Shields

Maybe? On the one hand, Abreu probably doesn’t have the surplus value to justify a particularly satisfying return. So Martinez and Helsley doesn’t seem like it’s a huge low-ball offer.

On the other hand, the lack of motivating return also seems like it would be outweighed by his value to his teammates and the fans.

Trooper Galactus

Well, yeah, there seems to be very little upside in the return for the White Sox. Basically a 1B/DH who is not likely to be as good as Abreu and a pitcher with a seemingly limited ceiling. On the one hand, they’re both immediate major league level assets, but on the other hand, it’s difficult to say they would justify parting with a franchise mainstay.

PauliePaulie

With the season Martinez is having, why are the Cardinals making that trade?

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, I didn’t see how it made much sense for the Cards either. It’s not really bolstering their team.

sgp2204

I wouldn’t. If Martinez wasn’t already 29, then I’d be a lot more interested. At this point, I’d much rather just keep Jose around if that’s the best offer we can get.