CHICAGO – Since arriving from Triple-A Charlotte on Friday, Ian Hamilton has made it look pretty easy.
The right-handed relief pitcher made his major league debut against the Boston Red Sox the day he joined the White Sox’s bullpen and retired all three Boston hitters he faced on six pitches.
“You can see he’s got some pretty good stuff,” Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
The 23-year-old Hamilton was good again in his second appearance Monday, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers.
Wait until he gets completely adjusted.
“I’ve just got to get used to how the ball feels,” Hamilton said. “They’re a little different than minor league balls. Once I get comfortable with it, I’ll be able to do what I do.”
Hamilton, a combined 3-2 with a 1.74 ERA and 22 saves in 43 appearances with Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham before getting the call from the Sox, expanded on the difference in baseballs.
“It just feels like more perfect, kind of,” he said of the major league ball. “More circular, everything’s tighter. Minor league balls, you get a little give with the leather. But with these, they’re wound pretty tight.”
A tighter baseball eventually should allow Hamilton to throw better sliders, his signature pitch.
“I think I will,” he said. “I haven’t thrown one how I wanted to yet, but I think they’ll be better.”
Garcia update: Avisail Garcia on Wednesday missed his fourth straight game with a sore right knee, and there has been some talk about shutting down the right fielder for the season.
“He’s very much against it,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “We feel the treatment he received over the last couple days should put him in a decent position to get back out there, which is what he wants. There’s not a risk of doing additional damage, to the knee at least.”
Garcia has been on the disabled list twice with hamstring injuries during a frustrating season for the 2017 All-Star.
“He’s continued to push and to try to get in there regardless of how he’s been feeling, which shows a lot of character and a lot of heart for a young man,” Renteria said. “It’s not easy to play this game healthy, let alone with bumps and bruises. It says a lot about Avi.
“I think he’s been giving us everything he’s got, and obviously we’re hoping we can manage it enough so he’s comfortable enough to go out there and continue to put some at-bats together for us through the rest of the season.”
Fan injured: In the ninth inning of Tuesday’s Sox-Tigers game, a 32-year-old fan was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Detroit’s Jeimer Candelario. According to the Sox, he suffered a broken nose and has been released from Rush University Medical Center.
The fan was sitting down the right-field line, well beyond the protective netting that runs past each dugout.
“I think he tried to catch it and it’s kind of tough, even for a professional, with the way the ball flies,” Renteria said. “But I’m glad to hear he’s doing fine and recovering.”