This is the way the White Sox's season is going: Paul Konerko is ready to return just as baseball shuts down for the All-Star break. Konerko can't start a minor league rehabilitation assignment until Thursday at Double-A Birmingham because the minors observe a break to coincide with the majors. That helps sums up a disastrous first half for the Sox, who survived a scare Sunday when rookie catcher Josh Phegley was struck by a foul tip on his right index finger in the ninth inning. Phegley capped a comeback with a game-tying single with two outs in the top of the ninth, but the Phillies pulled out a 4-3 win in 10 innings. That concluded a first half in which the Sox find themselves 14 games out of first place in the American League Central. At 37-55 (.402), it's the Sox's worst record at the break since 1989. "Everything (on the X-rays) looks negative, so I just got hit pretty good and just the soft tissue swelled and I think we'll be OK,'' said Phegley, whose finger was wrapped. But the Sox have plenty to digest over their four-day break, including another baserunning mistake by Alejandro De Aza that cost them a scoring opportunity. "The record speaks for itself," manager Robin Ventura said. "Nobody is happy, and you can go home and clear your mind and get ready to go." The roster could look different soon, especially with the July 31 trade deadline approaching and the Sox producing six losing streaks of four games or more, including an eight-game skid after they reached the .500 mark on May 26. "We don't know what moves they are going to make," said Konerko, who could return July 22. "They traded (Matt) Thornton already and you know there's a chance that more guys can go. The theme is whoever is here today, you go out there and play hard." With Konerko, 37, recovering from lower back tightness and possessing full no-trade rights, the chances of him being traded are slim. He sounded determined to return strong after an inconsistent and injury-plagued first half.
Sox limp into break with another loss, injury scare
Chicago Tribune | Jul 15