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White Sox make room for James Shields with Miguel Gonzalez

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Latter hits disabled list with shoulder inflammation

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

The minimum disabled list was shortened from 15 to 10 days this year, but it hasn’t really mattered for the White Sox. Of all the players the White Sox have placed on the shelf, only Geovany Soto has returned from injury within two weeks. He shouldn’t count, though, since he succumbed to — and underwent surgery for — the same elbow problem shortly after.

(Update: Michael Ynoa came off the disabled list 12 days after going on it, but he hasn’t pitched in a game since returning to the roster on Thursday.)

I mention this because the White Sox placed Miguel Gonzalez on the DL with what they call an A/C joint inflammation in his right shoulder. In most years, this would look like an injury of convenience, since:

  1. James Shields needed a roster spot in order to make today’s return to the rotation.
  2. Gonzalez has a 10.34 ERA in three June starts.
  3. It’s retroactive to the earliest possible date (June 15), a distinction they didn’t make with Dylan Covey.
  4. Rick Renteria said “we anticipate it’s going to be a short-lived situation.”

However, the White Sox’ injuries in 2017 have been exponentially more severe than either the club or such circumstantial evidence initially suggested. Shields is returning from a lat injury that came by a similar amount of surprise, and it ended up costing him two months of the season.

Plus, the White Sox weren’t painted into a corner, as they have a few non-Gonzalez options for optioning to Charlotte to create room otherwise. Gonzalez indeed has a story behind it.

So it’s hard to assume that this is primarily a way to open a spot while giving a struggling starter a breather. If Gonzalez is dealing with more than the usual soreness, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of his White Sox career, since his last month of pitching shows how easily his margin for error can be eliminated.