Matt Lindstrom appears to be on track to rejoin the White Sox' bullpen in early August.
The right-handed reliever, who was the closer until suffering an ankle injury on May 20, was pleased after throwing 30 pitches in a bullpen session Saturday.
After another bullpen Monday, Lindstrom's next step is throwing live batting practice to injured right fielder Avisail Garcia when the White Sox are in Minnesota later this week and then heading out on a minor-league rehab assignment.
"We will see how the bullpen and the live BP go up in Minnesota," Lindstrom said. "It should be a good test for both of us to kind of see where we're at, but you can never really simulate in practice, live BP, the game adrenaline, so that's the next step. I've anxiously awaited this moment for a while, so it will be nice."
When he does go to the minor leagues to pitch, Lindstrom doesn't think he will need much time to get ready.
"I've done some rehab assignments before in my career, so I know what to expect," he said. "Just hopefully I don't have to do three or four. Maybe one or two will be good."
After Saturday night's win over Houston, the Sox optioned infielder Carlos Sanchez to Class AAA Charlotte to open a spot for a relief pitcher.
Taylor Thompson came up from Charlotte on Sunday and didn't have to wait long to make his major-league debut. A 27-year-old right-hander, Thompson pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings against Houston and allowed 1 hit while striking out two.
Thompson, from Montgomery, Ala., was the White Sox' 44th-round draft pick in 2009.
Assistant general manager Buddy Bell called Thompson on Saturday and told him his contract had been purchased.
"I have so many thoughts running through my head I can't really zone in on one, but it was pure excitement, naturally," Thompson said. "I've been waiting for this for a long time, so it was a matter of time. I pitched well down there and I was just waiting on my call, so when it came I was pretty much speechless, nervous.
"It was all good, all fun."
Hall awaits Thomas:
On Sunday, Frank Thomas will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y.
Manager Robin Ventura and Thomas were Sox teammates from 1990-98.
"You see his career and the numbers that go with it, but the fact that most of it was done in a White Sox uniform is special," Ventura said. "There are not many of them that are in.
"For him to do it and have that productivity over that period of time, win MVPs and things like that, he was a dominant player in his era. That will stand the test of time as far as his place with the White Sox."
Thomas played 19 seasons with the White Sox, Athletics and Blue Jays, batting .301 with 521 home runs and 1,704 RBI. He was American League MVP in 1993-94.