Lots happening here at U.S. Cellular Field this afternoon, so let's get right to it.
-A.J. Pierzynski is the big news, of course.
With almost 12 seasons under his belt playing one of the toughest positions in sports, Pierzynski is on the disabled list for the first time in his career with a fractured left wrist.
That is a remarkable run of good health, and now we'll see how fast A.J. heals.
Most fractures take 4-6 weeks to heal, but trainer Herm Schneider said there's a chance Pierzynski could be playing when the White Sox open a three-game homestand against the Twins on Aug. 29.
Herm said A.J. has more of a "compression" fracture. He was hit by a Bruce Chen pitch on the knob of the left wrist last Friday. Herm said A.J. is actually dealing with a combination bone bruise and sprain.
Sounds like potentially good news, and we'll see how Pierzynski does in 10 days or so when he tries to hit and catch. He was wearing a brace Monday, not a hard cast.
As for his replacement, we'll see if Tyler Flowers can step up in the heat of a pennant race starting with tonight's key game against the second-place Indians.
Flowers hasn't played much since coming up from Class AAA Charlotte on July 10 after backup catcher Ramon Castro broke his right hand.
But he has played well, batting .300 with 1 home run in 8 games (5 starts).
Flowers said working with the pitching staff is his top priority.
"Just prepare myself each day for whoever is pitching for us and for whoever is pitching for them and do the best I can," Flowers said. "You can't put any more pressure on it than that. I don't think A.J. or Castro is going to come back to take my job in the next week, so I have a little time. Nothing to worry about. Just play my game and do the best I can."
-Adam Dunn is back after being away from the Sox over the weekend due to a death in the family. He's in the lineup and bats sixth vs. Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
Dunn is a career 4-for-18 with a solo home run and 9 strikeouts against Jimenez, who pitched for the Rockies before being traded to Cleveland on July 31.
-Paul Konerko is back at designated hitter tonight.
Konerko wants to return to first base, but his left leg is still sore from July 31, when like Pierzynski he was hit by a pitch.
Konerko is a little frustrated by the lingering injury, but a doctor told him it will probably be another two weeks or so before the discomfort subsides.
-Starting tonight, the Indians play 45 games in 44 days to end the season.
They have three rainouts to make up, so this is a team that could fade down the stretch.
-Last but not least, the White Sox were thrilled for former teammate Jim Thome, who hit his 600th career home run Monday night in the Twins’ win over the Tigers.
Thome hit his 500th home run on Sept. 16, 2007, when he was playing for the Sox.
"I was actually watching the game by myself live and it was obviously awesome," said Konerko, a close friend. "I sent him a quick text but I'm sure a million people did. I know he's busy. It's great. Anybody that's ever played for Jim is happy for him. Five hundred is one thing but 600, I mean, it's amazing. You’ve got to be doing it for a long time ... start early, start young, and do it until you're 40, 41 and never really stop in the middle. Pretty impressive."
Here are tonight’s lineups:
Pierre - LF
De Aza - CF
Konerko - DH
Quentin - RF
Ramirez - SS
Dunn - 1B
Flowers - C
Beckham - 2B
Morel - 3B
Floyd - RHP
Brantley - LF
Choo - RF
Cabrera - SS
Hafner - DH
Santana - 1B
Fukudome - CF
Donald - 2B
Chisenhall - 3B
Marson - C
Jimenez - RHP