That’s the fact, zack, in 2020

Chicago Sun-Times - - SOX BEAT - Brian Sandalow

In an ideal world, Zack Collins would be with Class AAA Char­lotte get­ting play­ing time ev­ery day. Of course, noth­ing is ideal in 2020. With no mi­nor-league sea­son, Collins is up with the White Sox, who are well-stocked at catcher, first base and des­ig­nated hit­ter. That has made get­ting con­sis­tent at-bats dif­fi­cult for Collins, who was the DH for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive night in the se­ries opener Fri­day against the In­di­ans.

Be­fore Fri­day, Collins had played in only five games with 10 at-bats. That’s likely not how the Sox en­vi­sioned de­vel­op­ing the 2016 first-round pick.

“The truth is, there’s prob­a­bly a like­li­hood if we had been in a nor­mal si­t­u­a­tion, he’d be play­ing down in Triple-A, con­tin­u­ing to get more at-bats, con­tin­u­ing to stay ac­tive,” man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria said. “We still believe there’s value in him gain­ing in­for­ma­tion here and get­ting some of the at-bats he’s get­ting. It’s just one of those mo­ments in time right now where we’re in a unique si­t­u­a­tion. No­body ex­pected to find our­selves in it, but we’re go­ing to try to do ev­ery­thing we can to keep him mov­ing along.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult for him. Any player that feels he should be hav­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and get­ting them is al­ways go­ing to be anx­ious to want to show ev­ery­body what they’re ca­pa­ble of do­ing. I to­tally, to­tally un­der­stand that.”

Collins has got­ten more at-bats of late, but that’s partly be­cause of the ab­sence of Ed­win En­car­na­cion (left shoul­der). When En­car­na­cion re­turns, that will mean less time for Collins, bar­ring other in­juries. And En­car­na­cion took dry swings Fri­day, with Ren­te­ria hop­ing he could do nor­mal work Satur­day.

Be­cause of the Sox’ ros­ter con­struc­tion, the unique na­ture of the sea­son and the lack of mi­nor-league base­ball, there isn’t an ideal way to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­body. Ren­te­ria ac­knowl­edged that.

“I wish I had a per­fect so­lu­tion to the whole si­t­u­a­tion, but I don’t,” Ren­te­ria said. “It’s fluid, it’s or­ganic and we’re go­ing to try to do the best we can for ev­ery­body.”

Health re­port

Yas­mani Gran­dal didn’t start be­cause of ir­ri­ta­tion in his left foot. Ren­te­ria said the Sox had wanted to give him a day off any­way, though he was avail­able for an at-bat. No­mar Mazara (left foot) also didn’t start af­ter be­ing hit with a pitch and ex­it­ing Thurs­day. He was avail­able off the bench, as well. Both are ex­pected back Satur­day.

As for Tim An­der­son (strained right groin), Ren­te­ria said he will work out with the Sox on Sun­day and is ex­pected to re­turn next week against the Tigers.

The other side

Aaron Ci­vale, the In­di­ans’ starter on Fri­day, en­tered his matchup against Dy­lan Cease with a 3.75 ERA. That’s the high­est of Cleve­land’s three sched­uled starters, with Zach Ple­sac en­ter­ing 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA on Satur­day and Shane Bieber com­ing into Sun­day’s fi­nale 3-0 with an ERA of 0.83.

Eloy Jimenez sounded like the Sox were up for the bat­tle.

“They have re­ally good pitch­ers; it’s go­ing to be a chal­lenge,” Jimenez said. “But we have a re­ally good lineup, so we are go­ing to com­pete. They have to com­pete, too, with us. So we’re good.”

Bright lights

The In­di­ans-Sox se­ries fi­nale has been moved to ESPN’s “Sun­day Night Base­ball,” which had an open spot in the sched­ule af­ter the Cubs-Car­di­nals se­ries was post­poned.

It will be the Sox’ first ap­pear­ance on “Sun­day Night Base­ball” since May 12, 2013, against the An­gels. ✶


If 2020 were a nor­mal year, Zack Collins likely would be get­ting more sea­son­ing in the mi­nors.

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