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Terrerobytes: Mixed progress report for injured White Sox pitchers

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Plus: Jimmy Piersall remembrances, a Matt Albers revival, and a game within the game

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Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Only about half of the White Sox’ rehab brigade has made a charge toward returning to the 25-man roster. Carlos Rodon (biceps/shoulder) made his first start with Winston-Salem on Tuesday, and James Shields (lat) beat him to the post by a couple days with the Knights. Jake Petricka has made two appearances out of Charlotte’s bullpen.

Conversely, Dylan Covey still has no timetable attached, which shouldn’t surprise given his history with oblique strains and his Rule 5 status. The bigger news is that Nate Jones (elbow neuritis) and Zach Putnam (elbow inflammation) haven’t been able to maintain their throwing programs, Rick Renteria said before Tuesday’s game.

Neither reliever traveled on the team’s current three-city road trip and both haven’t thrown since the White Sox left town, manager Rick Renteria said Tuesday. Jones threw a bullpen session prior to the White Sox departure last Thursday and has since only received treatment, Renteria said. Though he hasn’t thrown since, Renteria said he wouldn’t describe Jones as having had a setback. Jones has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 4 with right elbow neuritis.

“They’re healing and moving forward with the treatments they have,” Renteria said. “Not a setback. I think (Jones) was being treated, as far as we’re concerned, with a lot of our patience, being very careful. We want to make sure these guys come back ready to go. We’re just being more precautionary than anything else.”

That sounds a little bit setbackish if you ask me, although it probably doesn’t officially qualify since the Sox hadn’t laid out any kind of timetable. Chris Beck can probably ease in a little; Juan Minaya, less so.

Terrerobytes

Strength and conditioning coach Allen Thomas wants some of that credit you’ve been giving Herm Schneider, although this might not be the year to start. The recent surge in injuries aside, this is a good look at how Thomas tracks workout programs across all levels.

There have been lots of good recollections of Jimmy Piersall, whose time with Harry Caray resulted in broadcasts that can’t be duplicated, for better or worse. From all I’ve read and the few hours I’ve heard over the years, there are some things that can be left in the past (the era’s casual misogynism, the campaigns against individuals), but broadcasters and analysts probably should use the what-the-hell-are-they-doing-out-there club more than they do.

Matt Albers has been able to carry a hot start deeper into the season, boasting a 1.25 ERA and 22 strikeouts to four walks over 2123 innings with Washington. He’s still the same guy otherwise:

This season, he adjusted somewhat, moving his hands higher in the set position. Albers always used to lift his hands before delivering, and figured he would eliminate the extra motion by starting his hands higher. Increased efficiency led to increased consistency.

But as Kelley explained, Albers’s success should not be a surprise from a player who has built more than a decade-long career as a right-handed reliever, one of the more replaceable positions in baseball. What did surprise his teammates is Albers’s intensity, which manifests itself in yells and chest thumps on the best of days, and vehement glove tosses in the dugout on worse ones.

Or maybe Albers is great because the NL isn’t.

Tanaka has a 6.55 ERA after giving up five runs (three homers) over five innings to Boston on Tuesday, and the New York media is calling for change. One should understand why this is pertinent to a White Sox site, although Jose Quintana still has to make strides himself.

Sam Miller is good at this kind of stuff. He saw Willson Contreras leave his bat on the fair side of the first-base line on a flyball to right -- one that could theoretically be in the way of a throw from right field — and wondered if this is something players do on purpose.

None of this is remotely conclusive. Trout and Heredia are right-handed recoilers who sometimes (but don't always) leave the bat in front of the plate even when there are no baserunners. Springer, like Contreras, might plausibly have left the bat there not by design but because his reaching swing pulled him across the plate, and because he was tentatively following the ball to see whether it was going to land fair or foul. Crucially, too, we found plenty of instances where all of these players didn't leave their trash in fair territory even though the situation might have called for it, and even though the swing would have allowed for it.

So we have to go to the experts.