White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez doesn't miss many games, so it was a take-notice moment when manager Robin Ventura pulled him from Saturday's 6-2 victory over the Indians in the fourth inning because of injury. Ramirez has played in all 95 Sox games this season, but just three days in advance of his first All-Star Game, he felt a back spasm during his pregame meal. He said it felt bad during his at-bat in the fourth, when he walked, and knew he should come out. Ramirez, however, doesn't think it will keep him out of Tuesday's game at Target Field in Minneapolis. "I don't think it's going to be a major thing," Ramirez said. Rienzo sent down: The Sox optioned right-hander Andre Rienzo to Triple-A Charlotte after Saturday's game and will call up a position player for the series finale Sunday against the Indians. Rienzo was 4-5 with a 5.87 ERA in 14 games, moving back and forth between the bullpen and rotation. In two relief appearances spanning three innings since June 26, he allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks. Infielder Carlos Sanchez wasn't in the lineup in Charlotte on Saturday night and could be an option to fill the opening, which Ventura said would go to a position player because of injuries to Ramirez and center fielder Adam Eaton. Eaton sat out Saturday with minor ankle and wrist problems and also could miss Sunday's game, Ventura said. "Right now we're hoping these couple of days, plus the All-Star break, he'll be totally fresh on Friday," Ventura said. Sox infield prospect Micah Johnson also was not in Charlotte, but he is playing in the All-Star Futures game in Minneapolis on Sunday. Promising practice: Injured Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom threw a 30-pitch bullpen session Saturday and said he and pitching coach Don Cooper were "pleasantly surprised" with how he threw. He said he threw all four of his pitches and was happy with his fastball command.
Back spasm of little concern to Alexei Ramirez
Chicago Tribune | Jul 13