Called-up Sox catcher Josh Phegley immediately used in lineup
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 5, 2013 10:58PM
Updated: August 7, 2013 6:18AM
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The White Sox brought up catcher Josh Phegley from Class AAA Charlotte on Friday, and it wasn’t to be Tyler Flowers’ backup.
Phegley, who virtually forced the Sox to call him up with his .316 average, 15 homers and 41 RBI, was in the starting lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays.
‘‘He’s here to play,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘He’s earned the right to come up, and that’s part of playing well in Triple-A. He’s earned a promotion, so tonight he’s in there.’’
After striking out on three pitches his first time up against Jeremy Hellickson, Phegley punched a single to right for the first hit and RBI of his career.
Ventura also started Blake Tekotte in center field. Tekotte came with Phegley after Jordan Danks was demoted to AAA.
Flowers was batting .208 with eight homers and 44 RBI.
‘‘Flow will play, too,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It’s not a one and two or anything like that. We got two catchers.’’
It’s safe to say Phegley will play more if his production is anywhere close to what it was in AAA.
‘‘Two young catchers who potentially can be pretty good,’’ assistant general manager Buddy Bell said. ‘‘It will be interesting to see how it works out.’’
The Sox are hoping that Hector Gimenez, who was designated for assignment, will clear waivers and go to AAA.
Pitching coach Don Cooper was encouraged by right-hander Jake Peavy’s side session Friday. Peavy likely will throw a simulated game and could be on target to pitch the weekend after the All-Star break against the Atlanta Braves. That would give him two or three starts before the trade deadline.
Peavy fractured a rib pitching against the Seattle Mariners on June 4. Not being able to lift weights or throw has sapped some strength.
‘‘It just gets frustrating when it’s July 5 and you get out there and kind of feel like you’re in spring training again with your command and your stuff’s not quite like you’re accustomed to,’’ Peavy said.
But for the most part, Cooper liked what he saw.
‘‘Actually, I’m starting to get a little bit excited that it’s just around the corner that we are going to get him back,’’ Cooper said.
This and that
Dylan Axelrod was pulled in the second after giving up five runs and nine hits, including homers to Jose Molina and Kelly Johnson, the 8 and 9 hitters. His ERA went from 4.57 to 4.97.
◆ Until Gordon Beckham took over at shortstop during the seventh inning, Alexei Ramirez had been the only player in the majors to have played every inning.
◆ Top pitching prospect Erik Johnson went on the disabled list with a strained groin. He is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA over 16 innings at Charlotte since getting promoted from Class AA.