The White Sox announced Wednesday that they have reinstated right Lucas Giolito from the list of injured Covid-related and opened a place on the 40 men by transferring to the right Lance Lynn to the 60-day injured list. It’s a procedural decision that doesn’t affect Lynn’s schedule; he’s eligible to activate on June 6, as the minimum ’60-day’ window is retroactive to his original IL placement – not today’s transfer.
Giolito was placed on the Covid list last week but will return in a few days. The brief stint on the IL has pushed his departure back by a few days, as he will take the hill for the first time since May 10, when he will do so in a few hours against the Royals. Giolito also missed 12 days earlier this season with abdominal strain, but has typically been excellent when on the active roster. In five starts (26 2/3 innings), he threw a 2.70 ERA with a 35.2 percent strikeout rate and an 8.6 percent walk rate. Since his breakout campaign in 2019, Giolito has been Chicago’s most consistent starter, shooting 454 1/3 ball frames 3.43 ERA and receiving Cy Young’s votes three times.
Lynn, 35, left her last start in spring training with knee discomfort, and subsequent evaluations revealed a torn tendon that required surgical repair. He has yet to enter minor league rehab and isn’t even expected to face live hitters for the first time until Friday, so he wasn’t likely to return until June 6 anyway. Assuming all goes well with his live batting practice and handful of minor league rehab outings, a return to early or mid-June seems realistic.
The Sox signed Lynn to a two-year, $38 million extension with a third-year club option last July. He was close to hitting the free market after the 2021 campaign and would likely have been positioned as one of the best veterans on the market, but opted for the security of a new multi-year deal with a now-winning club that is a few hours from his hometown in Indiana. Over the past three seasons, Lynn has had a 3.26 ERA with a 27.5 percent strikeout rate and 6.9 percent walk rate in 449 1/3 frames.
With Giolito now back and Lynn perhaps not far behind, the White Sox rotation is approaching full throttle for the first time this season. They will have decisions to make, barring further injuries, as Giolito and Lynn will join a starting mix that also includes Dylan Quit, Michael Kopech, Dallas Keuchel, Vince Velazquez and Johnny Cueto, who blanked Kansas City on seven frames in his outstanding ChiSox debut this week. Of this group, Keuchel and Velasquez have struggled considerably, although Keuchel’s $18 million salary may earn him an extra leash. Kopech, meanwhile, could have his innings watched carefully as he enters his first full season as a big league starter.