Renteria: Sox’ opener will be like Game 103
The White Sox will open their regular season against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field on July 24, a Friday night, and end with three games against the Cubs at home on Sept. 25-27.
Those are the featured bookends around the Sox’ slate in the abbreviated 60-game MLB schedules announced Monday. In between, the Sox are scheduled to play in the “Field of Dreams” game against the Cardinals on Aug. 13 in Dyersville, Iowa, and three games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
They’ll play on the road at Cleveland, Kansas City and Milwaukee after hosting the Twins that first weekend, and like everyone else in the short season, they’ll be aiming for a fast start.
“I’m going to assume we’ve already played 102 games and we’re in first place and we’re trying to hold on to that slot,” manager Rick
Renteria said of his approach to the schedule. “We’re going to proceed that way — obviously without putting anybody in harm’s way. But it is important for a club to get off to a good start because the schedule is waning. It’s short.”
Each team will play 40 games against opponents in its own division, along with 20 interleague games against teams from the same geographical division in the other league. The home and away games are unbalanced, with the Sox hosting the Twins in seven of their 10 matchups. Seven of 10 games against the Indians are in Cleveland, seven of 10 against the Tigers are at home, and seven of 10 against the Royals are in Kansas City. However, with fans not expected to attend games because of the coronavirus, home-field advantage might be negligible.
The Sox play three exhibition night games before the season begins: July 19 at the Cubs, July 20 against the Cubs at home and July 22 against the Brewers at home.
Renteria acknowledged that third baseman Yoan Moncada was not at Guaranteed Rate Field with other Sox regulars Monday, the fourth day of summer camp. Moncada has not participated in any workouts, which began Friday, a source said.
The Sox announced Sunday that two of their players had tested positive for the coronavirus but didn’t name them. Both are asymptomatic, in isolation in Chicago and have requested privacy, the team said.
Renteria declined to answer questions about Moncada’s absence.
“I’m just holding him out right now,” he said.
Moncada, who lives in Miami in the offseason, was the only regular position player not on the field. First baseman Jose Abreu and slugger Edwin Encarnacion didn’t appear until Sunday while the team awaited results of their intake tests.
Players who test positive can return to activities once they have had consecutive negative tests and passed appropriate coronavirus protocols.
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Shortstop Tim Anderson tried taking batting practice with a mask on but removed it because it was too uncomfortable.
† Left-hander Gio Gonzalez, a free agent pegged for the starting rotation who did not pitch in spring training as he worked back from a sore shoulder, is slated to pitch two innings in a sim game Tuesday.
† The Sox’ first intrasquad game is still slated for Thursday.