Bad back likely means Brian Goodwin is done for season

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin looks on during a game against the Rangers on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Goodwin has been placed on the 10-day injured list with lower back spasms.

    White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin looks on during a game against the Rangers on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Arlington, Texas. Goodwin has been placed on the 10-day injured list with lower back spasms. Associated Press

 
By Matt Baron
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 9/26/2021 5:51 PM

More than ever, Leury Garcia's versatility figures to be a boon as the White Sox postseason looms.

That truth was reinforced Sunday, as outfielder Brian Goodwin was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to Friday) with lower back spasms, effectively ending his regular season.

 

In addition, outfielder Adam Engel's outlook is uncertain. Reinstated Sept. 21 after a six-week hiatus caused by a left shoulder injury, Engel went 3-for-9 in three games but has not played since Thursday. He experienced leg soreness running the bases against the Detroit Tigers and Sox manager Tony La Russa hopes he can return to action over the next day or two.

Right-handed pitcher Matt Foster, shuttled down to Class AAA Charlotte earlier in the week after getting a one-day call-up for the Sox doubleheader against the Tigers, is filling the slot vacated by Goodwin.

Goodwin's playoff status was already in doubt, with the active squad having to be trimmed from 28 (the roster size since Sept. 1) to 26 for the postseason.

"What he's done for us isn't going to be forgotten," La Russa noted. "It's just a question of how game-ready he will be because of this (injury) and what the makeup of the position player roster is."

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After starting the season at Charlotte, Goodwin joined the Sox with a bang on June 12. In a 15-2 rout of the Detroit Tigers, he homered, drove in 5 runs and scored three times. He played in 72 of the club's next 90 games, starting 64 of those contests.

After four weeks, through 98 plate appearances, Goodwin's batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage was a sturdy .282/.371/.541. However, through 271 plate appearances, his overall slash line has dipped to .221/.319/.374, all below the major league norm.

Rotation taking shape

The Sox pitching rotation over the regular season's final week is taking shape, with Dylan Cease slated to pitch the 162nd and final game next Sunday. He still has a bruise from a hard-hit groundball that struck his biceps in the sixth inning of his victory Friday night.

La Russa said pushing back Cease's next start until then will give time for the bruise to go away. "We had the (starter) spot open and he'll take it," La Russa said. "It could've been worse, and we were lucky."

Dallas Keuchel will start Monday in the final road game, a makeup contest at Detroit. At home against the Cincinnati Reds, Reynaldo Lopez will start on Tuesday, and it's uncertain if Carlos Rodon will start the next night.

Rodon, who lasted only 69 pitches in 3 innings last Monday, threw off flat ground on Saturday. He is "still penciled in for Wednesday" against the Reds, said La Russa.

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